Sunday afternoon has me listening to the same, short Spotify playlist on repeat whilst finishing off some work and nomming some leftover risotto (speaking of nomming, have you met Nommable yet? One of my favourite new blogs that I discovered via Wednesday’s virtual pumpkin party?? Gimme all the pumpkin moon pies and pumpkin pepita cranberry bread). And ~spoiler alert~ Maths dude and I also woke up rather early to watch the All Blacks v Springboks RWC semi-final, and BLESS THEIR HEARTS NEW ZEALAND MADE IT THROUGH.
This hybrid New Zealander/Brit/Australian will always be an All Blacks fan at heart.
But, ohhhh, this risotto.
I actually don’t mind the whole standing-over-the-stove-for-40-minutes-stirring thing that comes with making a risotto properly, but I have to tell you that putting the whole thing in the oven is so much easier, and, even as a risotto snob, I also have to tell you that it tastes just as good too. Is this what restaurants do to mass-make risottos? Actually, don’t answer that. I’m pretty sure 90% of the restaurants I’ve had risotto in *ever* just boil a huge batch of arborio rice and then stir things through it. Please someone tell me where I could find a really good risotto in Brisbane!?
Meanwhile, I’m just going to get back to eating more of this. (The amount of cheese in the recipe is NOT a typo! This is the kind of risotto where every forkful has melty cheese stretching off it… gomakeit!!!)
Also… shout out to the awesome orange casserole dish that Maths dude’s mum gave us a few years back. I use it every week for one thing or another, and it’s perfect for this kind of cooking where you start on the stove and end up in the oven. I think these days the cool kids are using Le Creusets? This is basically a Le Creuset, but old. And free. It’s heavy as fuck, as non-stick as ever, and I never want to swap it out for a fancy new one ever (whereas most of my kitchen items I would definitely like to).
- 2 medium brown onions, peeled, diced
- 1 bunch of basil, stalks finely chopped, leaves reserved
- 2 medium eggplants / around 800g, diced
- 2 cups / 400g arborio rice, rinsed
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup / 120ml dry white wine
- 4 cups / 1L vegetable stock
- 450g fresh mozzarella cheese, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup shaved parmesan
- rocket, basil and parmesan, to serve
- Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan-forced.
- Place a large stovetop casserole dish (that has a lid) on the stove over medium-high heat.
- Add 2 tbsp olive oil and the onion into the dish and fry until the onion is translucent and fragrant, around two minutes.
- Add the basil stalks, eggplant, and ¼ tsp salt, and fry for an additional two minutes, until the eggplant is beginning to soften.
- Add the rice and garlic, and stir to distribute evenly.
- Add the white wine, and cook until almost reduced, around a minute.
- Add the basil leaves (leaving a handful to garnish), mozzarella, and stir to combine.
- Add the vegetable stock, stir, and then place the lid on the dish. Place in the oven, and bake for around 30 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and stir through the parmesan. It should be thick, creamy, gluggy + soft.
- Spoon into serving bowls, and garnish with as much basil, rocket and parmesan as desired!