Lemon & Aubergine Risotto

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

2 aubergines

small knob of butter

1 red onion

2 garlic cloves

120 ml white wine

grated zest of 1 lemon

2 tbsp lemon juice

fresh basil

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.

4 thoughts on “Lemon & Aubergine Risotto

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