BF&F – Best Friends and Foodies


Risotto al limone – Bumpkin

I got this beautiful cookbook as a Christmas gift from a good friend.  I have been wanting to make something from it, but it really is a book best suited for special occassion meal.  However, I do try to pull out the cookbooks on the weekend to browse through and see if something strikes my fancy, even just for Sunday Dinner. 

I had a rotiserrie chicken so really just needed a side to go with it and a green veggie.  I had arborio rice in the pantry and decided I would attempt risotto for the first time.  Surprisingly, it is pretty easy to make.  Albeit, time consuming. 

I LOVE risotto.  This was no exception…even on a first attempt.  I love how creamy it is and how filling it is on it’s own, even without a “main dish”.  Townie made her eggplant stacks so we decided it might be a good time to post a “side dish” for a change….even if what we both made could be a meal unto its own!

Risotto al limone

adapted from Homemade by Yvette Van Boven

  • 2 shallots
  • 2 1/4c arborio rice
  • large pan of chicken broth (hot!), I used nearly 6 cups
  • 2/3c dry white wine
  • juice and zest of 1 large lemon
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 egg yolks ( I did NOT use these in my recipe so don’t know how big a difference they will make since it was perfectly lovely without it)
  • 1c grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 stick of butter, original says to have a little more to finish, I just used 2T less in original recipe and added the 2T for the finish…so 1 stick total
  • the original recipe suggested roasting 2 extra lemons so they caramelize, then you squeeze this over the top in the end.  I skipped this step and served mine with a few capers and parmesan on top.

Let’s Make It!

Melt the butter in a large tick-bottomed pan.  Saute the shallots.  Add the rice and fry on high heat while stirring until the rice grains are glazed, with a white core.

Add the wine then, fold in lemon juice (I added zest here, too).  Add the hot broth, spoonful by spoonful (I have a small ladle), until it is absorbed.  Continue until the rice is al dente, after about 20 minutes.  Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Fold in cheese, until it is melted.  Remove from heat.  Stir in remainder of butter (and egg yolks if you decide to use them). Cover until ready to serve.

(Last step I skipped) Quarter the remaining 2 lemons and place on a broiler rack.  Grill(broil) them until they form black specks. 

Arrange risotto and sprinkle with lemon zest.  Serve with broiled lemons – they have a sweet taste when ssueezed over risotto.


baked eggplant goat cheese stacks – townie

ive always wanted to like eggplant…  but its always served swimming in some kind of red sauce.. or its really mushy…   awhile ago we found one recipe using eggplant that we really enjoyed.  goat cheese makes everything better!  at least for us (not so much for bumpkin)   when i saw this recipe online i knew i would try it!    we both loved this!  it was really good!  the eggplant wasnt soggy or mushy and it wasnt swimming in sauce!  yum we’ll definitely be having this again!



Baked Eggplant Goat Cheese Stacks

adapted from naptime chef


1 eggplant, about 1 pound, peeled
1 cup panko bread crumbs
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
2 large eggs
½ cup all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 small log goat cheese, sliced (4oz)
10  leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
1 cup homemade marinara sauce


1. Preheat oven to 400F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Slice the eggplant into pieces ½-inch thick. About 14 – 16 slices. Sprinkle the slices with kosher salt, place them in a colander and let them drain onto a plate for bowl for about 30 minutes. Then rinse off the salt and pat the slices dry.

3. In a shallow plate combine the panko, Parmesan, and salt. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with 1 tablespoon water. Then, place the flour in a shallow plate. Dredge the eggplant in the flour, followed by the whisked eggs, then pat it into the panko mixture until it is well coated. Place the eggplant on the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining slices.

4. Drizzle the eggplant slices with the oil and bake for 20 minutes. Then turn over the eggplant and bake for 10 minutes longer, or until golden and crisp.* Remove from the oven the divide the goat cheese and chopped basil amongst half of the slices. Use the other slices to make a sandwich.

5. Spread the marinara sauce in the bottom of an oven proof baking dish. Transfer the eggplant sandwiches into it and bake for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.