Lemon Asparagus Eggplant Risotto

Lemon Asparagus Eggplant Risotto

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
Ingredients
  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
Instructions
  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.
Notes
  1. About 420 calories per serving.
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi PLENTY
Adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi PLENTY
Sousan Alwan https://sousanalwan.com/
Creamy Tomato Cashew Pasta

Creamy Tomato Cashew Pasta

I am so in love with easy simple meals. I remember my mother working for hours in the kitchen every day to get dinner on the table. I know that with kids, work, and life in general, I simply cannot do this. I love this pasta for it’s pure flavors, sweet tangy tomatoes and nutty cashews, and the fact that it’s so easy to make with no fuss. Just perfect. I like to service with some olive oil garlic bread made from whole wheat baguette.

Creamy Tomato Cashew Pasta (V)
Serves 4
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Total Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup unsalted cashews
  2. 2 cups + 1/2 cup water
  3. 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
  4. 1 teaspoon lemon juice (optional)
  5. 1/2 teaspoon salt
  6. Box of pasta of your choice (here I used wholewheat penne)
  7. 3 tablespoons olive oil
  8. 1 small onion, chopped
  9. 4 large ripe tomatoes, roughly chopped (or 2 cans of chopped tomato)
  10. Sea salt, black pepper, and dried oregano
  11. Fresh basil to garnish
Instructions
  1. Soak the cashews in the warm water for a minimum 20 minutes, up to overnight (the longer you soak, the creamier the cream). Drain and put the cashews into a blender with a little fresh water, salt, and if using, the nutritional yeast and lemon juice. Blend until smooth and set aside.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package instructions.
  3. For the tomato sauce, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan, add the onions and tomatoes, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes until the tomatoes are tender. Add the salt, black pepper, and oregano and blend with a hand blender until smooth.
  4. Add the cashew cream to the tomato sauce.
  5. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking liquid. Mix the pasta with the tomato cashew sauce and add a little liquid if dry. Sprinkle with fresh basil.
Notes
  1. About 600 calories per serving.
Sousan Alwan https://sousanalwan.com/