Eggplant & Lemon Risotto

Risotto has always been a dish with a preparation I’ve never dared to launch myself into.

And for many reasons.

First of all, because my mother, one of the greatest cook who once lived in Italy, masters a divine risotto like a pro.

Then, because the making of this dish sounded super complex to me: the idea to start with dry rice and cook it in a broth, to keep some moisture and still have an ‘al dente’ dish and not a tasteless puree…

One unique session with my mum and I was able to put all my fears to rest.

Here’s my recipe and how to make a delicious risotto.

I’ve decided to go for aubergines and lemon but the base remains the same whichever the recipe (the broth will change though if you add seafood).

My next post will also be about risotto but a tomato one this time. When you have found and mastered the risotto recipe, you might be stuck on it for a while…



For the broth:

  • 2 l water
  • 1 celery stick with its leaves
  • 1 white onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 tomatoe
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and sliced or cut in small sticks
  • 1 large broccoli bouquet
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt

For the risotto:

  • 1 white onion, diced
  • 1 tsp butter
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 middle size eggplants, peeled and diced (I’ve used white eggplants but you can use the regular purple ones)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • the zest and the juice of one organic lemon
  • 250g risotto rice
  • grated parmesan to serve
  • a large handful of basil leaves, chopped
  • Guérande salt and pepper


  1. The night before, prepare the vegetable broth by cooking the vegetables in boiling salted water
  2. Once the vegetable are cooked, retrieve the pan from the heat and let the broth cool down with the vegetables in the broth (you’ll filter the broth before using it); Set aside
  3. In a pan, add the olive oil  and leave the aubergines to golden; Set aside
  4. In another large pan (large enough to contain the broth you’ll add to cook the risotto rice), place the butter and the olive oil
  5. Once the butter has melted, add the onion and brown it till golden and crisp
  6. On high heat, add the dry rice and stir it till well covered with oil and butter
  7. Lower the heat and add the broth: the rice should be just under the broth level
  8. Stir the rice constantly (ideally with a special wooden risotto spoon) so it absorbs the broth. When the liquid starts to diminish, add some more and so on on so forth. The rice should be cooked ‘al dente’ (approx. around 20 min depending on your risotto rice brand)
  9. Add the eggplant dices, the juice and zest of the lemon, the salt and pepper
  10. Stir well and serve quickly with grated parmesan and some chopped basil leaves


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