Sunday, April 11, 2010

Pine Nut & Eggplant Pilaf

Tried this for dinner tonight and even the kiddo's loved it! So, it might be worth trying in your household:

1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
3/4 lb eggplant
olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts
1 can diced tomatoes, drained
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon allspice
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
black pepper
1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock
fresh dill or fennel (optional)

Top and tail the eggplants, then quarter them and cut into 1/2 inch slices. Put the slices in a colander and salt generously. Leave over a bowl for 30 minutes. Rinse with water and squeeze dry a handful at a time.

In a large pan (with lid) or dutch oven, cook onions and pine nuts in 2 tablespoons olive oil until they turn golden brown. Meanwhile, in a skillet or wok on a medium high flame, heat up a few more tablespoons of olive oil. In batches, stir-fry the eggplant until browned. Add the diced tomatoes to the onions and pine nuts and sautee for 2-3 minutes.

Turn the heat to low. Add the spices and sugar, stir a bit, then add the rice. Stir often for about 5 minutes, then add the stock and eggplant. Cover and allow to simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes, till no liquid is visible.

Elevate the pan on a wok ring if you have one to bring to even lower heat. Drape a folded kitchen towel over the top of the pan and replace the lid. Allow it to steam for an additional 15 minutes. Stir and serve.

Adapted from Classical Turkish Cooking, by Ayla Algar