This recipe is based on my recent obsession with Yotam Ottolenghi’s cooking. Every time I turn the page in one of his cookbook’s, I gasp, sigh, smile, or some combination of these. Everything is beautiful and it’s so comforting and familiar, and yet new. I added asparagus to this recipe because I found some at a local market and thought it would be a perfect compliment to the lemon and eggplant. Hope you like it too. 

Lemon Asparagus Eggplant Risotto
Serves 4
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Total Time
45 min
Total Time
45 min
  1. 2 medium aubergines
  2. 10-12 tender asparagus
  3. 5-6 Tablespoons olive oil
  4. 1 onion, finely chopped
  5. 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  6. 7oz risotto rice
  7. 1/2 cup white wine
  8. 3 1/2 cups warm vegetable stock
  9. 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  10. Grated zest of 1 lemon
  11. Coarse sea salt and black pepper
  12. 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
  13. A handful of fresh basil, shredded
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F.
  2. Cut the aubergine into 1.5cm pieces and place on an oven tray with the trimmed asparagus. Coat with about 2 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until golden. Turn once to cook evenly. When done, remove from the oven and set aside.
  3. Heat the remaining oil in a pan, then fry the onion slowly. When translucent and cooked, add the crushed garlic and cook for three minutes more. Next, add the rice, stir to coat it in the oil and fry for two to three minutes. Add the wine and cook for two to three minutes more, until all evaporated. Turn down the heat to medium.
  4. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice, stir until it is absorbed, then repeat, stirring all the while, until all the stock has been used up - this will take 10-15 minutes.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat, add the lemon juice, half the zest, the aubergine and asparagus, a 1/2 teaspoon of salt, and the parmesan cheese. Stir, cover and leave for five minutes. Taste and add more salt if you like and some black pepper.
  6. To serve, spoon the risotto into bowls or plates and sprinkle with more Parmesan, basil and the rest of the lemon zest.
  1. About 420 calories per serving.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi PLENTY
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi PLENTY
Sousan Alwan

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