Baked Mushroom Risotto w/ Sautéed Eggplant

Oh man, I am so happy with the way this dish turned out!! I have been tossing around the idea of an Asian influenced risotto for a while and finally decide to try it out as a baked risotto with veggies on the side. Veggie num num’s Baked Risotto w/ tossed Green Veggies is still one of the most popular recipes with num num readers and the one often mentioned in all your lovely emails, thank you!!

So I thought it was time to post another version of baked risotto and the perfect time to throw some Asian flavours in the mix, two ideas with one pot, if you will 🙂 The baked risotto couldn’t be simpler and delivers a wonderful vegan rice dish, hearty and full of the complex flavours of mushrooms. You could serve this as a side or as a great meal on its own.

I adore eggplant but, unfortunately Cam still holds a little dislike for them, every time he sees me with eggplant in hand his face kind of screws up in mild horror, how is this justified?! Eggplant rocks!! So this dish was another attempt to bring him over to the eggplant side, selfishly so I can cook more eggplant dishes but, also because I feel he is missing out on the wonderfully delicious flavour and texture of eggplant.

The simple sauté really brings the flavour of eggplant alive with a dash of rice wine vinegar and soy and cherry tomatoes for added colour and yum! I could eat a huge bowl of this alone! A simple and tasty vegan recipe, the baked mushroom risotto and eggplant team together as a truly delicious, healthy and hearty vegan meal! I think this is a new all time favourite!

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Baked Mushroom Risotto w/ Sautéed Eggplant
Preparation Time: 45mins (+ 30mins to soak the mushrooms + prepare the eggplant) // Serves 4

Baked Mushroom Risotto

  • ¼ cup dried mixed or shitake mushrooms
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice
  • 2 cups vegetable stock

Sautéed Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tbs sunflower oil
  • 3 garlic cloves, diced
  • 1 red chilli, diced
  • 1 tbs rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp dark soy sauce
  • pinch of white pepper
  • 4 shallots, finely sliced
  • 250g (9 oz) cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

to serve

  • toasted sesame seeds (optional)

Soak the dried mushrooms in the cup of warm water for about 30 minutes.

Dice the eggplant and lay out on a clean tea-towel or absorbent paper, sprinkle over a little salt and allow to sit for about 30 minutes, and then pat dry.

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/356°C

Strain the mushrooms reserving the liquid. Finely dice the mushrooms and combine with the Arborio rice in an oven proof dish.

Combine the stock and reserved liquid from the mushrooms, topping up with a little more stock to make three cups total.

Pour the stock mixture over the rice and mushrooms and place in the pre-heated oven for 40-45 minutes until liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

{Start to sauté in the last 15-20 minutes of the risotto cooking time.}

Heat the oil in a good sized frypan over a medium heat. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the eggplant and toss over a medium-high heat for 7-8 minutes until soft and golden.

Add the rice wine vinegar, fry for a few seconds then add the soy and white pepper, continue to toss, add the shallots and cherry tomatoes and cook for a further few minutes until the cherry tomatoes begin to blister.

Remove from the heat, check seasoning, add a little more soy if need be and toss through the parsley.

Serve immediately piled on top of warm baked mushroom risotto and sprinkled with a little toasted sesame seed. Perfect for a great vegan meal the whole family will enjoy!

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