Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto Casserole

Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto Casserole

                              Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto Casserole.

Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto CasseroleMany of our vegetarian family members and guests are reduced to eating salad and mashed potatoes at our Holiday gatherings! My Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto Casserole is a nutritious and delicious vegetarian entrée that solves the problem of “nothing was prepared for my non meat eating guests”! This showpiece Holiday casserole will turn the heads of our carnivore guests as well; so make enough for everyone! Again, eggplant is such a versatile vegetable and it stars, along with organic red kuri squash, in this vegetarian main dish, layered with creamy tomato risotto, onions, Mediterranean cheeses, aromatic herbs, Calabrian pepper and spicy pesto! The recipe for my spicy pesto is here: but feel free to use a prepared pesto of choice. With my Eggplant Squash Tomato Risotto Casserole, the salad is just the side! Enjoy it on Holidays, enjoy it anytime of the year!

1 organic eggplant, peeled or not, thinly sliced vertically

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided

1 cup aborio or carnoroli rice

1 teaspoon chopped Calabrian peppers, DeLallo is good

1 teaspoon dried organic basil, divided

1 teaspoon dried organic oregano, divided

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 cup white wine

1 16 ounce can organic grape tomatoes, or chopped fresh tomatoes 

3 cups boiling water

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1 small organic red kuri squash, cut in half, seeded and thinly sliced

1 large organic onion, peeled and thinly sliced

1 cup spicy pesto

8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese

1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese for the top

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit 

Now prep the eggplant: sprinkle salt over the slices and let rest for 30 minutes or more, then blot to remove excess water

In the meantime prepare the risotto with the next 11 ingredients:

Heat the oil in a chef’s pan to medium high

Add the rice and stir until pearly

Add the pepper and half of the herbs and spices

Stir in the wine

Add the tomatoes, smash them with back of wooden spoon

Lower heat

Add the boiling water 1 cup at a time, stir frequently

Stir in the butter and parmesan cheese

Turn off heat and let rest

In a separate cast iron fry pan, heat the olive oil to medium high

Add the onions and squash and the rest of the spices and herbs 

Sauté until vegetables are tender and have thrown off some juice

Coat the bottom of a casserole dish with pesto

Layer the eggplant and sautéed vegetables with juice alternately with the pesto, mozzarella and the risotto, ending with risotto and grated Parmesan cheese

Make cuts on the top of casserole, cover with lid or foil

Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes

Remove foil and bake for another 25 minutes until crusty and browned

Enjoy as a vegetarian Holiday casserole or anytime of year!

Visit us often and buy the Simply Natural Gourmet Cookbook!

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