adapted from The One-Dish Vegetarian, Maria Robbins
A surprising combination of textures and flavors makes this dish special.
1 small eggplant (about one pound), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
59 ml4 T. extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 ml1/2 tsp. hot red pepper flakes
450 g1 lb. tomatoes, coarsely chopped
small handful of basil leaves, finely chopped
salt, to taste
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1660 ml7 c. vegetable broth
1 small onion, finely chopped
470 ml2 c. arborio rice
120 ml1/2 c. red or white wine
180 ml3/4 c. diced vegan cheese (optional)
59 ml1/4 c. walnut parm (optional)--see recipe under Notes
Make Walnut Parm if desired. Recipe is under Notes below.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the eggplant cubes together with 1 tsp. olive oil. Spread them out in a single layer on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until they are browned and tender. Remove and reserve.
In a skillet, heat 1 T. olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and saute 30 seconds. Add the chopped tomatoes and basil. Cook over high heat until the sauce just thickens. Remove from heat, stir in the eggplant, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
In a saucepan, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer. Keep the liquid at a bare simmer while you proceed with the risotto.
In a heavy 4-qt. cook pot, heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, until the onion has softened. Add the rice and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, for about 2 minutes, until the rice is well coated. When the grains become slightly translucent, add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed.
Set a timer for 18 minutes. Add 1 c. of hot broth and stir frequently, until the liquid is almost absorbed, then continue adding a little over 1/2 c. liquid at a time, stirring until each is almost completely absorbed. Adjust the heat so that the risotto is always a gentle simmer. After about 18 minutes, add the reserved eggplant and tomato, a final 3/4 c. of broth, and continue stirring for another 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is pleasantly al dente and creamy at the same time.
Add the cheese if using and serve with walnut parm if desired.
I used Vegan Gourmet Monterey Jack for the cheese with pleasing results.
I discovered with another risotto that cooking too long can make it gooey, so now I set a timer and make sure I get all the broth in within 18 minutes, turning up the heat if I need to.
adapted from The Raw Food Gourmet, Gabrielle Chavez
Combine in a food processor or blender:
1 c. walnuts
3 T. nutritional yeast
1 tsp. salt
Use as a condiment to sprinkle on pasta and other dishes. Keeps well in a sealed container in the freezer.