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This week’s recipe from Hopgood’s & Co is for Tomato & Eggplant Risotto with parmesan & basil.

Kevin Hopgood says while freshly roasted and chopped tomatoes give more flavour you can substitute them for a can of good quality Italian chopped tomatoes.

Tomato & Eggplant Risotto with Parmesan & Basil.

Serves 4

Roast Tomato Base


  • 500g ripe tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 sprig, fresh thyme, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, sliced very thin
  • 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt & pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Place the tomatoes on an oven tray, cut side up. Season generously with salt and pepper, sprinkle over the thyme and garlic and drizzle with olive oil.
  2. Roast the tomatoes in the oven, for 1 hour uncovered until slightly blistered, caramelised and softened.
  3. Take out of the oven, allow to cool, then roughly chop, reserving as much liquid as possible.

Tomato & Eggplant Topping


  • 1 medium-sized eggplant, chopped in 1cm cubes
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cup, mixed coloured cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • Sea salt


  1. Lightly salt the eggplant for 30 minutes, to remove any bitterness. Drain well, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over high heat.
  3. Add the eggplant and sauté until golden brown and softened.
  4. Add the cherry tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes until softened.
  5. Season well, then remove from the heat. Keep warm while you prepare the rice.

For the Rice


  • 5 cups vegetable stock + a little extra if needed.
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
  • Pinch chili flakes
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 50g butter
  • ½ cup grated parmesan
  • bunch small basil leaves
  • Extra parmesan shavings to serve.


  1. Put the vegetable stock in a pot and bring to the boil.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot. Add the onion and garlic and sweat gently without
  3. colouring until they are soft.
  4. Add the chilli flakes and rice. Mix well so all the rice grains are well coated in the oil and cook for 1 minute.
  5. Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until the wine has been completely absorbed.
  6. Add 3 cups of boiling stock and the reserved chopped roast tomatoes.
  7. Continue cooking stirring occasionally, so the rice doesn’t stick, until the rice is just beginning to cook through, and the stock has evaporated (about 7-8 minutes)
  8. Add the remaining 2 cups of stock and continue to cook, stirring often until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid, about another 7-8 minutes.
  9. Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir through half of the tomato and eggplant mixture, the grated parmesan, butter and basil. Mix well, so the risotto becomes rich, glossy and well combined. If the risotto is too thick, add a little more stock or water to achieve the right consistency and season to taste with salt and freshly cracked black pepper.
  10. Serve in individual bowls, topped with the remaining tomato and eggplant mix, extra shavings of parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.





I have been writing a regular wine column for The Nelson Mail newspaper since 2000.

Unfortunately the column space is not big enough to include my thoughts on all of the many wines I taste. Hopefully this blog will fix that. It also gives me somewhere to archive the many columns I write. I will also include some favourite recipes from my dearly beloved who loves cooking and of course because wine and food simply go together. I will also point you in the direction of upcoming events and websites I think are great. Enjoy, Neil

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