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Ratatouille over Sprouted Brown Rice Risotto

You need a ratatouille recipe in your life, trust me.  This versatile dish elevates weeknight dinners, you can make in a large batch and use as a side dish to lean proteins, as a main course over risotto, spaghetti squash, quinoa pasta, or rice. Leftover ratatouille tastes even better as the flavors meld, start your day with a scoop over scrambled or over easy eggs.

This week, I made a simple version and served over sprouted brown rice risotto.  It turned out to be a heavenly dinner that my whole family loved, major mom score right here!

Ratatouille

Serves 6 to 8

Ingredients:

2 small eggplant, cut into 1/2-inch dice

5 T. olive oil (plus extra on hand)

2 medium white onions, cut into 1/2-inch dice

6 garlic cloves, chopped

1/2 bunch of basil, tied in a bouquet with kitchen twine

6 basil leaves, finely chopped

½ tsp. dried red chile flakes

2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2-inch dice

2 medium zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice

4 medium tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch dice

Salt to taste (or I suggest using Herbamare seasoning)

Directions:

Dice and toss eggplant cubes with a teaspoon of. Set the cubes in a colander to drain for while you prep other vegetables.

Heat 3 T. of olive oil in a large sauté pan. Pat the eggplant dry, add to the pan, and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until golden browned. Remove the eggplant when done and set aside.

In the same pan, add 2 more T. olive oil. Add onions and cook for until soft and translucent, approx. 5-7 minutes. Then, add the garlic, basil bouquet, chili flakes, and a bit more salt or Herbamare.

Cook for 2 or 3 minutes, then stir in peppers. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in zucchini. Cook for a few more minutes, then stir in tomatoes.

Cook for 10 minutes longer, then stir in eggplant and cook for 10 to 15 minutes more, until all the vegetables are soft. Remove the bouquet of basil and adjust the seasoning with salt.

Stir in the chopped basil leaves, check seasoning and serve warm or cold.

Sprouted Brown Rice Risotto

Serves 4-6

Ingredients:

2 T. organic olive oil

1 T. grass-fed butter

1 large onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

2 cups sprouted brown rice

½ cup organic white table wine (chardonnay works great)

2 quarts organic vegetable stock (I use Whole Foods 365 brand)

¼ cup shredded parmesan cheese

sea salt and pepper to taste

fresh herbs like parsley, basil, or oregano (for garnish)

Directions:

In a medium sauce pot cover broth and bring to a simmer.

Heat oil and butter over medium heat in a large sauté pan or skillet. Sweat onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, approx. 5 minutes.

Add rice and toast, stirring gently, approx. 4 minutes.

Add ½ cup white wine and cook wine off, stirring constantly, approx. 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of the hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, adjusting the temperature to a medium simmer until liquid is almost absorbed.

Repeat process, adding about 1/2 cup of the broth each time then stirring well until absorbed. Repeat approx. 3-4 times  until rice is just beginning to get tender, about 30 minutes.

When rice is al dente add parmesan cheese, stir well, then taste and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine.

Add about 1/2 cup more broth to finished risotto before serving, stir well and garnish with fresh herbs.

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