Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Ratatouille Risotto

I love risotto. I love to eat it and I love to cook it. I think it is very hard to make a bad risotto and I love that you can make it as simple or as complicated as you want and it never fails to please. Its my ultimate comfort food. I can even get my hubby to eat things he hates like salmon and mushrooms if I put them in a risotto. Its also great for cleaning out the fridge, which is why I came up with this recipe tonight.

I mentioned yesterday that I have an abundance of squash this week, but I failed to mention that I also have loads of eggplant. I think I got five this week!! These are not your regular purple type, I got white ones, green ones and mauve and white ones. All a lot less bitter than the regular, which makes them a bit easier to cook.

Obviously squash and eggplant are the basis of most ratatouille's, hence the name for this one. I won't put up an in depth recipe as I think most people know how to make a basic risotto and really, you could omit or add anything you wanted to, to this one. I have to say though, this tasted even better than I expected, it was really good.

So, in short, I cut up some onion and sauteed with some garlic in olive oil. I added the arborio rice and then some white wine and a splash of balsamic vinegar. Then I put in a small can of diced tomatoes. I could have used fresh, but I don't have that many this week and want to use them for something else. Once the liquid had been absorbed, I started to add my chicken stock. You could use vegetable if you wanted it truly vegetarian.

In the meantime, I sauteed the squash, eggplant and a large, fresh ancho pepper for a bit of kick. These veggies were added to the risotto just before the last of the stock had been absorbed. Then finally I tossed in some fresh herbs from the garden (oregano, thyme and basil). I served hot with some crumbled goat's cheese on top. Delicious!!!

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