Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake is in fact a combination of two classic Italian dishes, eggplant parmigiana and saffron risotto, although it’s a bit more healthful as the eggplant is baked instead of fried. You can under-cook the rice when you sauté it so it doesn’t get mushy when it bakes with the eggplant. Makes 8 servings. This cheesy delicious casserole can make the perfect dinner meal for your family. May be they will be skeptic at the beginning, as it doesn’t have the most beautiful appearance of all dieshes, but then when they try it all your guests will be surprised by its flavor and taste. What’s most adorable then the look on your face when you see them enjoying their “Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake”?
2 tablespoons plus 1 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
1 cup arborio rice
Pinch of saffron
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup vegetable broth or water
3 large eggplants, cut crosswise into 1/4-inch rounds
Freshly ground black pepper
4 cups store-bought tomato sauce, divided
1 pound fresh mozzarella, cut into 3/4-inch cubes (about 2 cups), divided
1 cup coarsely grated Parmesan, divided
Arrange racks in top and bottom thirds of oven; preheat to 425°. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion; cook, stirring often, until softened, about 8 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes. Stir in saffron, then wine. Cook until wine reduces slightly, about 1 minute. Add broth; season with salt. Cover and cook over medium heat until rice is very al dente and still crunchy, about 6 minutes; remove pan from heat.
Recipe: Luce in Portland OR