Recipe challenge ingredients

Roast/Bake — Preheat your oven while you prep your ingredients.

Cheese — So many cheeses, so little time!

Rice — A classic food staple around the world.

Basil — Sweet, peppery, aromatic, versatile, and at its peak freshness during hotter months.

Lemon — No kitchen should be without a squeeze. Or a zest.

Eggplant — Related to tomatoes, peppers, and potatoes, but so different and so good.

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Roast/bake: cheese, rice, basil, lemon, and eggplant

You can’t go wrong with cheese, eggplant, and lemon.

For your protein, veggies, and carbs, try this combination: cheese, eggplant, and rice. Basil and lemon are added for flavor and character.

It’s up to you whether you want to throw everything together into a single dish or whether you want to separate them into a main course and one or more side dishes. But to make things more challenging, roast/bake at least one of the dishes.

Recipe Ideas

Lemon and Eggplant Risotto

Lemon & Eggplant Risotto

Good risotto is always worth the effort.

Prep time: 30 minutes; cook time: 75 minutes.
  • 2 medium eggplants
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 1/4 cups risotto rice (arborio rice)
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 3 1/4 cups hot vegetable stock
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1–2 cups basil leaves, shredded
  • coarse sea salt and black pepper
  1. Roast one of the eggplants either directly over a moderate flame until the flesh is soft and smoky and the skin is burnt, or in the oven under a hot broiler for 45 minutes, turning a few times. If using the oven, the eggplant needs to deflate completely and its skin should burn and break.
  2. Once the eggplant is ready, scoop out the soft flesh and discard the skin. Chop the flesh roughly and set it aside.
  3. Cut the second eggplant into a 1/2 inch dice, leaving the skin on. Heat 1/4 cup of the olive oil in a frying pan and fry the diced eggplant in batches until golden and crisp. Transfer to a colander and sprinkle with salt.
  4. To make the risotto, put the onion and remaining oil in a heavy pan and sautee until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer.
  5. Turn up the heat and add the rice, stirring to coat it in the oil. Sautee for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add the wine and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until nearly evaporated. Turn the heat down to medium.
  7. Now start adding the hot stock to the rice a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously until the liquid fully absorbed before adding the next ladleful.
  8. When all the stock has been added, remove the pan from the heat. Add half of the lemon zest, the lemon juice, grilled aubergine flesh, butter, and most of the parmesan. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  9. To serve, spoon the risotto into shallow bowls and top with the diced eggplant, the remaining parmesan, the basil, and the remaining lemon zest.

Show us your recipes!

Whether you’re a professional food blogger or just an enthusiastic amateur chef, we’d love to see what you come up with for this random cooking challenge. Use the form below to tell us about your recipe or collection of recipes that match the criteria above. We’ll be happy to post a link to your pages!

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