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aubergine and lemon risotto

This vegetarian recipe by Yotam Ottonlenghi appeared in the Guardian magazine.  It is delicious.

2 medium aubergines
170ml olive oil
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
200g risotto rice
120ml white wine
750ml hot vegetable stock
2 tablespoons lemon juice
grated zest of one organic/unwaxed lemon
20g butter
sea salt and black pepper
50g finely grated Parmesan
handful of basil leaves, shredded

Preheat oven grill to highest setting. Place one aubergine on a tray under grill, and cook for about an hour, turning occasionally. Remove from oven, slit lengthways and scoop out the flesh, avoiding the burnt skin as much as possible. Roughly chop the aubergine flesh and put in a bowl.

Cut the second aubergine into 1.5cm dice. Heat 120mls olive oil in a frying pan, and fry the aubergine in batches until golden brown. Transfer to a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to cool (and drip oil!).

Heat remaining 50ml oil in a heavy-based pan (a cast-iron casserole is ideal). Add the onion and fry it slowly until translucent and cooked through. Add the crushed garlic and cook gently for another three minutes.

Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring to coat it in the oil. Fry for two to three minutes, then add the wine (it should hiss), and cook for two to three minutes more, until all but evaporated. Turn down the heat to medium.

Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice, then stir until it is absorbed. Repeat, stirring all the time, until all the stock has been used up. This seems to take about 20 minutes.

Remove pot from heat and add lemon juice, half the grated rind, the chopped aubergine pulp, butter and half a teaspoon of salt. Stir well and cover; leave for five minutes. Taste and add more salt and black pepper if you like.

To serve, spoon the risotto into bowls or plates and sprinkle with diced aubergine, Parmesan, shredded basil and the rest of the lemon rind.

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posted by sasha on 29 Feb 08 - 8819 views

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