When I was in Israel, my tour group had the honor of being invited to eat lunch in the home of a family in the co-existing village of Shfar’am. I cannot even begin to describe to you the amazing home-cooked goodness this lovely family prepared for us. The loveliest people and most delicious, ethnic food.
One dish they served up were these mini eggplants stuffed with a creamy risotto and I just knew I had to make a variation of that – but something that wouldn’t take nearly as much time and effort to construct (it’s a lot of work to steam, scoop out and stuff an eggplant precisely without it ripping apart and becoming a mushy mess).
And so I decided to take all of the flavors of this amazing dish and make a variation of it in an Eggplant Risotto instead. So simple, so quick, so delicious, so Instant Pot-friendly!
Here’s How I Made It!:
As practically every dish starts, we’ll take an onion…
…and dice it up.
Then, we’ll take a carrot…
…and do the same.
Now head on over to the Instant Pot and add in some vegetable oil…
…and butter and give it some heat.
Once everything’s bubbling…
…add in the onion and carrot…
…as well as some mushrooms.
Stir together for a few minutes.
Now add in some Arborio rice (it must be this kind of rice)…
…and stir it up with everything else in the pot for another minute.
Pour in some chicken broth…
…give it a stir…
…and place the eggplant in their full state on top of the pot’s contents (Note: See the “Jeffrey Sez” section of the recipe for two different ways to prepare the eggplant – one meatier and one mushier). Secure the lid and cook at high pressure.
When done, remove the eggplant with some tongs…
…and trasnsfer to a plate.
Stir the risotto and it will quickly absorb any remaining liquid.
Now take the eggplant, slice off the stems at the top…
…and slice into discs. The reason we are doing this post-pressure cooking is so the eggplant meat is more substantial and meaty since it was cooked whole as opposed to in smaller pieces where they will whither more easily. But you can do it either way.
Return the sliced eggplant to the pot and gently stir it in.
Now season it up with some black pepper…
…and some black truffle oil (yummmmm!)
Give it all a final stir…
…place into bowls…
…and one taste is worth a million words.
Enjoy this absolutely wonderfully inspired dish!
- 1 tbsp of vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp of salted butter
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1 medium (or half of one large) carrot, peeled and diced
- 4 oz of Baby Bella Mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup of Arborio rice (you must use this kind of rice to make a proper risotto)
- 2.5 cups of chicken (or vegetable) broth (I used 2.5 tsps of Chicken Better Than Bouillon + 2.5 cups of water)
- 2 small (or 1 large) Italian eggplant (if using a large one, make sure it fits in the pot while laying down whole like in the video, but if not, slice it in half midway through)
- ½ tsp of black pepper
- ½ tsp of kosher salt
- ½ tsp of seasoned salt
- ¼ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- ½ tsp Black Truffle oil
- Add the butter and oil to the Instant Pot, and then hit “Sauté” and Adjust so it’s on the “More” or “High” setting
- Once the butter’s melted and the oil’s sizzling, add in the carrots and onion and stir for a minute and then add in the mushrooms and stir for 2-3 minutes more
- Now add in the Arborio rice and mix with everything in the pot for a minute and then follow by adding in the chicken broth and giving everything another stir
- Top with the eggplant in their fully, untouched state (see video) – but feel free to cut in half if yours are too big for the pot (Note: we will cut them up after they pressure cook for a meatier, heartier eggplant but if you want to cut them into discs now and add them in to avoid that post-cooking removal & slicing step, go for it. It will just make for a mushier eggplant since it’s pre-sliced as opposed to a more substantial consistency since the whole eggplant is being cooked at once as I suggest you do here)
- Hit “Keep Warm/Cancel,” secure the lid and hit “Manual” or “Pressure Cook” high pressure for 6 minutes. Quick release when done
- Remove the eggplant with tongs, discard the stemmed top and slice into discs (if you didn’t take the shortcut route and already do this before pressure cooking which will make for a really rich and meaty eggplant if you cooked them whole), return to the pot and mix in with the risotto and remaining broth which will quickly be absorbed and create a creamy and rich risotto
- Give it a final season with the black pepper, kosher salt, seasoned salt, grated parmesan and black truffle oil. Stir well
This recipe can 100% be doubled and the cook time will remain the same!
I suggest cooking the eggplant whole on top of the risotto in the pot as it will make for a more substantial, meatier eggplant when mixed in with the risotto. You can definitely pre-slice the eggplant into discs and add it to the pot before cooking to avoid the step of removing and slicing once it’s cooked, but bear in mind it will be mushier.
Make it vegetarian or vegan by subbing vegetable broth instead of chicken broth!