By Nancy Caivano
1 medium eggplant
4 tbsp. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp. jar chopped garlic)
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup red wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1 can black pitted olives, sliced
2 lb. plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped (or one 12-oz. can
diced tomatoes (not crushed) such as Del Monte)
4 tbsp. butter
3/4 cup grated pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
3 tbsp. parsley, chopped
3 tbsp. basil, julienne
Cut off stem end of eggplant. Cut in half lengthwise. Place on well oiled baking sheet and put in 300 degree F oven for about 1 hour or until flesh is very soft. Scoop out flesh; season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
In large saucepan, heat olive oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic, and sauté until translucent. Add rice and sauté 3 minutes more. Add wine, stirring constantly until absorbed. Add 1/2 cup stock, stirring constantly, allowing to absorb before adding next addition of stock. After 4th addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice for doneness—should be al dente when done. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not need all of the stock.
When last addition of stock is added, add roasted eggplant, olives and tomatoes, stirring constantly until all stock is absorbed. Remove from heat; stir in butter, Romano, parsley and basil. Season with salt and pepper, and serve immediately.
A nice presentation would be to top a platter of risotto with some extra olives, or slices of a small or Japanese eggplant, fried until very crunchy.
This page created December 1998
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