You seem to burn almost as many calories making risotto as you do eating it – there’s constant action required to keep things under control. Don’t worry, it’s not too difficult and it’s a lot of fun. We’re going to show you how to make a delicious vegetarian aubergine (eggplant) risotto that feeds two hungry people.
- 500grams of fresh aubergine
- 250grams of risotto rice
- fresh parsley, chili flakes, cracked black pepper, salt
- extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 an onion, 1 x garlic
- parmigiano cheese, bechamel sauce
- vegetable stock cube
- glass of white cooking wine or better
Prep – Grate Cheese, Dice Basil
Grate a decent sized bowl of parmigiano cheese. Also take this time to chop up some fresh parsley and dice up a whole garlic into slivers.
Prep – Make Vegetable Broth
You’ll need about half a cube of vegetable stock and another pot of water, add the vegetable broth and stir. Leave on low to medium heat. You’ll need this later.
Prep – Cut and Clean Aubergine
Dice up about 500grams of fresh aubergine, wash and soak in light salt. Let this sit and soak. If you have a small strainer you can place it on top and press downwards, the salted water should suck up some of the juice.
The aubergine is about ready when it turns a whiter color. Be sure to let it drain fully as well over a strainer.
Prep – Sauté
Dice up 1/2 of an onion, one garlic and add chili flakes and olive oil. Place this on a pan and heat on high, stirring until golden brown.
Add the aubergine to the simmering onions and garlic when they are white and dry, stir briskly and add cracked pepper and fresh parsley. Continue stirring and cook on high heat.
Add Risotto Rice
Here’s where the physically demanding part comes in – risotto must be constantly stirred so it doesn’t stick and burn. You’ll be adding around 250grams of rice, more or less depending on your preferences.
Stir Stir Stir!
Dump the rice into the cooking pot. Stir stir stir, like the wind! Lower heat to medium and add one glass of white cooking wine. Stir stir stir like your life depended on it. Alternate your motions to cover all angles, up down up down left right A B B A, etc.
Keep stirring, never stop stirring. You can do this. Start adding a ladle of vegetable broth at a time into the risotto. You want it wet but not like a lake, start off slow until you find a good rhythm between liquid evaporation and vigorous stirring. It should be watery but not soupy.
Keep adding a ladle of vegetable broth, stir and scrape. Rinse, repeat over and over again. Keep stirring, you’re almost there (about 10-15minutes).
Add Cheese and Stir
When about 3/4th of the broth has been integrated and mostly evaporated add a few spoonfuls of the grated parmigiano cheese.
Stir Vigorously, Keep Stirring!
You guessed it, keep stirring! Switch hands if you need to or pair off with someone else, but make sure there’s constant motion happening.
You’ll want to add a few dollops of bechamel sauce once the cheese is nicely integrated, you should see the color change nicely after you continue to stir.
Home Stretch – Keep At it!
You should continue to stir, scrape, push, curse and stir some more until there’s pretty much no liquid left in the pot. The consistency should turn into more of a large, thick compound.
Cool and Serve
When things have reached an almost wet-cement like consistency it’s time to cool and serve. Scoop out and separate the risotto into portions and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top. You should let it cool a few minutes, further solidifying the composition and saving your mouth from some extremely hot temperatures.
I usually drink a lighter, crisp white wine like a falanghina (or greco variety) for something like this, a muscadet or any non-sweet white would suffice as a great accompaniment.
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