Yup. That’s right. This recipe was inspired by David Kinch’s Eggplant Dirty Rice, as featured in Food & Wine, and adapted to shine as a main dish that does not need meat to stand out. This gumbo is mildly spicy that can be adapted to your taste.
2 Tbsp vegetable oil, plus 1 tsp
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp
1 medium onion, medium dice
1 green bell pepper, medium dice
4 stalks celery, medium dice
Kosher salt and black pepper
4 large cloves garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (about 1 pound), medium dice
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper, or more to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 cup brown rice
Chives or scallions, finely sliced, for garnish
Hot sauce, optional, for passing
1. Heat 2 Tbsp of each of the oils over medium-high heat in a heavy bottomed pot.
2. Once the oil is shimmering, add the onion, bell pepper and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring often, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5-7 minutes.
3. Add the garlic to the pan. Stir and cook for about 1 minute, or until fragrant.
4. Add the eggplant and season with salta and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the remaining 1 tsp each of the oils.
5. Stir in the paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper and tomato paste and cook for 2-3 minutes.
6. Deglaze the pot with soy sauce.
7. Add brown rice to the pot, stirring until all grains are coated.
8. Add 4 cups of water and lower the heat to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the rice is cooked, about 40-45 minutes.
9. Serve in bowls and garnish with fresh chives.