Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan

This Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan is a slight take on Italian eggplant Parmesan.  The combination of the black rice along with all the other ingredients is superb.  This is a hearty dish that I start off by brushing sliced eggplant with a shallot vinaigrette then roasting them under the broiler for a couple minutes.  This step not only adds flavor, it also helps ensure that the eggplant will stay firm and not become mushy.

 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan The older I get, the more I appreciate my long time friends who are still in my life.  My friend Janelle is one such friend.  How we met is somewhat of a funny story.  Janelle and I met through our mutual friend Paulina.  I met Pauling when I was 8 years old living in Playa del Ray.  Janelle also lived in Playa del Rey at the time, however, we didn’t know each other back then.

Years later, Paulina asked me if I wanted to go to a party with her and her friend.  I enthusiastically said yes!  I was really excited because I was only 14 and had never been to a real party before.  As soon as Janelle and I met, we hit it off right away. We arrived at the party and proceeded to get drunk off of cheap wine.  This was also my first time getting drunk and it was the last time for a while.  Janelle’s mom and her friend picked us up after the party and unfortunately, the motion of the car made me dizzy and I threw up in the car.  I was mortified and I have yet to live that day down!  Janelle, her mom and her mom’s friend had an inside joke about that event where they would say “Stephie’s chunky style” and laugh.  I only found out about it some years later! Haha!

3U9A7232 Another couple of years would pass before I would see Janelle again.  I had enrolled myself into a school called S.M.A.S.H. (Santa Monica Alternative School House).  On my first day, I was in class and when I turned around, I saw her and I gave her a confused look because she looked familiar.  Later that day, I was in the bathroom when Janelle came in and she asked me in a mean voice “why the hell were you giving me dirty looks??” She was acting as though she was going to kick my ass.  The funny thing is, Janelle is not really the type of girl that would start a fight!  I told her that I wasn’t giving her dirty looks but that I recognized her and her whole demeanor instantly changed.  We figured out where we had met and we were instant best friends.  I treasure our friendship to this day.  She is one of the most loving, loyal, sweetest, will do anything for you kind of friend!!

This eggplant dish reminds me of a loyal old friend, as in it will comfort you and make you feel safe.

3U9A7282 copy This dish pairs nicely with a crisp glass of Soave or your favorite dry white wine.

3U9A7249 Eggplant Black Rice Parmesan Recipe:

6 – 8 servings

  • 1 Black Rice Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Dressing Recipe – recipe below
  • 1 Eggplant – recipe below
  • 1 Bunch Basil
  • 2 Large Tomato – diced
  • 1 Container Fresh Mini Mozzarella Balls – quartered
  • 1 1/2 Cups Pecorino Romano or Parmesan Reggiano – finely shredded
 Black Rice
  • 1 Cup Forbidden Black Rice
  • 1 3/4 Cups Filtered Water
  • 1 Garlic Clove (Optional)
  • 1 Teaspoon Sea Salt
Eggplant
  • 1 Eggplant – peeled – cut 1/4 to 1/2 slices

Dressing

  • 1 Tablespoons Shallot – minced
  • 1 Small Garlic – minced
  • 1 Teaspoon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 1/2 Tablespoons White Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1/4 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Pinch of Himalayan Salt or Sea Salt and Black Pepper
Instructions:
Rice

 In a small saucepan add the rice, water, garlic and salt.

Cover and bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce to simmer in-between medium-low and low for 30 – 40 minute.
Check at 30 minutes, if you still see a bit of liquid cook for 5 – 10 more minutes.  Or until water is gone.
Eggplant

In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients together for the dressing.

Peel and slice the eggplant about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.  Brush both sides of the slices with the dressing while laying them in a single layer on a parchment-lined baking sheet.

Place under the broiler and broil for about 3 minutes then turn the slices over and broil for 1 to 2 more minutes.

Casserole

 Preheat oven to 375 degrees

While rice is cooking, slice the mozzarella ball into quarters and finely shred the pecorino.  Set aside.
Core tomatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes and when the rice is finished cooking, let cool then mix in the tomatoes.
Spread 1/3 of the rice/tomato mix on the bottom of a 2 1/2 quart (I used a 12.2″W x 7.48″D x 2.28″H) casserole dish.
Add a layer of basil leaves making sure to cover rice completely.
 Evenly sprinkle on a 1/3 of pecorino and spread out a 1/3 of the mozzarella balls with space in-between.
Repeat the steps above.
For the top layer, add another layer of pecorino and arrange the last 1/3 of the mozzarella.  Sprinkle a few of the tiniest basil leaves on the top.  (Optional)

 Bake on the middle rack for 30 – 40 minutes or until the cheese is slightly golden.

3U9A7297 Health benefits:
Black rice contains a high amount of anthocyanin like blood oranges.  The research has found that just a spoonful of black rice coating “bran” has more anthocyanin antioxidants than in a spoonful of blueberries, less sugar, more fiber and vitamin E antioxidants.  It is valuable for reducing inflammation and for its anti-aging properties. It is also for high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer and helps protect the nervous system from degeneration.

Comments

  1. Anonymous says

    I sure find out a lot about you Steph reading your stories……I am so happy you made it thru those teenage years healthy, strong, confident, beautiful and SAFE! Love MOM

  2. says

    I love the sound of this recipe. I’ve never heard of it before so I’m intrigued!
    Also love your use of flowers in the decoration here. You know how much I love flowers ;).
    Thanks for sharing your story too.
    Hugs
    Kimberly

    • wavatar says

      Thank you, Kimberly!! It’s a really nice dish that you might be able to veganize. I’m glad you enjoyed to story. It’s fun to reminisce and share. xO

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