I used to think I didn’t like risotto, but this recipe changed my life. Something that is so zesty and cheese and aubergine-y at the same time just has to be good. And it is. This indulgent recipe might be the gateway risotto, the door that leads me to a whole new world of risotto enjoyment. It’s also a great reason to use my pressure cooker, which saves time and energy and cooks the rice flawlessly all by itself in exactly ten minutes. Buon appetito!
Ingredients (for 2) – recipe adapted from Plenty by Yotam Ottolenghi
200 g risotto rice
400 ml* homemade vegetable stock (leeks, garlic, carrot, thyme, lemongrass)
60 g grated Parmesan cheese
small knob of butter
1 red onion
2 garlic cloves
120 ml white wine
grated zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
coarse sea salt and black pepper
* when using the pressure cooker, the rice – liquid ratio should always be 1:2
- Make a vegetable stock by adding 1 liter (you’ll only need 400 ml of it later, but you might as well make a bit more) of cold water to the cleaned ends of 5 leeks (waste not want not! I still had these left over from making leeks vinaigrette the day before), 2 cloves of garlic, 3 stalks of lemon grass, 1 sliced carrot and some dried herbs (thyme) and black pepper.
- Put on the pressure cooker lid, bring the liquid to full pressure on high heat. Then turn down the heat and cook for 10 minutes.
- Strain the stock, then season with salt (about 1 tsp) and set 400 ml of it aside.
- Char 1 aubergine under a hot grill for at least 15 minutes either side. If it smells a little burned, that’s good. We want a smoky flavour here. Scoop out the flesh and season with a little salt.
- Dice the other aubergine and in a shallow frying pan with a little olive oil fry the cubes nice and golden brown. Do this in several batches, then drain on some kitchen paper and season with salt.
- Sweat the onion and garlic in a bit of olive oil on the bottom of the pressure cooker.
- When soft and translucent, add the rice, turn up the heat a little and stir for a few minutes.
- Add the wine and reduce.
- Add the stock, close the lid, bring up to pressure and cook for 10 minutes.
- Depressurise the pan, put it on a low heat, take the lid off and stir the rice.
- Now add the butter, cheese, lemon zest and juice, the aubergines and some black pepper.
- Divide onto two plates and top off with some coarse sea salt and fresh basil.