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Friday, May 31, 2013

Buckwheat Eggplant Risotto

I'm on my way to trying a new grain: Buckwheat
Ok it's not that new, but it is new to me, and it's gluten free (not that it matters to me but it's nice to know.)
I was planning on doing my usual bulgur-quinoa bit, when I remembered I had just bought a bag of buckwheat to try out.  The mix ended up being bulgur, red quinoa, and buckwheat...but hey, the more the merrier right?
As a side to a green chutney marinated then roasted filet mignon, I wanted something equally intriguing, but that would still pair properly.  Ah yes, risotto with eggplant, toasted garlic, and yogurt.  Hmm interesting.. We will have to analyze the flavors later.
1 1/4 cup buckwheat (or a mix with other things)
1 eggplant, cubed
4 cloves garlic, sliced
1 chopped tomato
3/4 cup plain yogurt
1 tsp za'tar
1 or more cups stock(chicken or veg)
1 tbsp tomato paste
Pinch of saffron threads
Lots of fresh cracked pepper
1 handful chopped flatleaf parsley
Some evoo
Feta...I should have saved some because it would be absolutely delicious here, but I only had a handful of parmesan, so I used that.
1.  In some Evoo, color the eggplant cubes with the za'atar, then remove and set aside.
2.  Add some more EVOO and fry the garlic slices until brown, but not burnt.
3.  Add the buckwheat and friends until all coated and nicely sizzling.  A very pleasant aroma should be wafting around.
4.  Add the tomatoes.  I think it would be best to bend them rather than have them chopped.  The grains would absorb the flavor more evenly, but I didn't so no worries.
5.  Add the stock and tomato paste, then cover and lower the heat.  Cook until mostly absorbed (approx 15 minutes).
6.  Stir in the yogurt, saffron, half the parsley, and lots of frsh cracked pepper.  Cover and keep on low heat until absorbed.  Do a taste test to see if you like the bite tenderness.

Before serving, stir inthe parmesan and top with chopped parsley.

This was delicious.  The textures of the different grains makes it feel like you are discovering something new with each bite.  I think I'll try it with 100% buckwheat next time so I can get the full experience.  Tonight was improv, so I only remembered the buckweat once my bulgur-quinoa cup was already half full. cup of Love is overflowing...
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