Eggplant Dirty Rice
Cajun food and smooshy eggplant? Yes please. When I saw this in Food & Wine, I knew I had to make it. However, I’m still not very good at cooking rice without a rice cooker…I had to send it back into the oven for an extra ten minutes because when I took it out at the prescribed time, I still had crunchy rice. I used one red and one green pepper instead of two greens just because green peppers aren’t my favorite and I added half a chopped zucchini at the very end because I had it in the fridge. The eggplant adds a richness to the rice without having to add fat. Top it with some hot sauce and you’ve got some zippy rice that can stand on its own. We served it with a portion of grilled salmon and had a really tasty dinner!
Eggplant Dirty Rice (from Food & Wine)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
- 2 green bell peppers, seeded and finely chopped (or whatever color you like)
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 eggplant (about 1 lb), cut into 3/4-inch cubes
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 tsp white pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1/4 cup soy sauce
- 1.5cups white rice
- 2.5 cups broth
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- In an oven-proof casserole, heat the oil. Add the celery, bell peppers and onion. Season with salt. Cover and cook over low heat until the onion is translucent (~5 minutes). Uncover and cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are softened (~10 minutes).
- Add the eggplant, thyme, black and white peppers and cayenne and season with salt. Cook until the eggplant is softened (8-10 minutes).
- Stir in the garlic and tomato paste.
- Add the soy sauce and scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the casserole.
- Stir in the rice and broth. Bring to a boil.
- Cover and bake for 17 minutes. Check if the rice is is just tender. If not, add for another 5-10 minutes and check again. Remove from the oven and let stand, covered, for 10 minutes. Fluff the rice and serve with hot sauce.