Traditionally, what makes Creole “dirty rice” dirty is the addition of fowl gizzards. Um, no thanks.
This vegan version is a whole lot healthier, but every bit as delicious. With hearty eggplant and a touch of Louisiana spice, this is a super-satisfying vegan recipe.
The recipe is not too spicy in itself, but you can make it that way. That’s what Tabasco is for!
Recipe contributed by Ellen Kanner. Photos by Hannah Kaminsky.
Southern Creole Dirty Rice, Vegan Style
- 1 1/2 cups long-grain brown rice
- 1 32 oz container low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic minced
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 1 medium eggplant stemmed and diced
- 2 large celery stalks diced
- 1 green pepper finely diced
- 1 large tomato diced
- 2 tsp sweet or smoked paprika
- 1 handful fresh thyme leaves or 1 tsp dried
- salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon to taste
- 1/2 cup fresh parsley finely chopped
- Tabasco or other hot sauce for passing around
- Pour 3 cups of the broth into a large saucepan. Place over high heat and bring liquid to boil. Add rice and bay leaf and give a quick stir. Cover and reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed. Remove bay leaf and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, onion, and eggplant. Sauté for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften a bit.
- Add the celery, green pepper, tomato, paprika, and thyme. Continue cooking for 5 to 8 minutes longer, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are soft but not overdone.
- Stir in the cooked rice and remaining cup of broth. Reduce heat to medium and cook another 10 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed. The mixture should still be a bit moist, so if need be, add 1/2 to 1 cup water and allow to absorb a bit.
- Stir in salt, pepper, lemon juice and parsley.
- Serve at once; pass around Tabasco for spicing up individual servings. Keeps several days in the fridge, flavor improves over time.
For a bright pop of color and protein, add 1 cup or more cooked edamame or green peas when adding the last ingredients.
- For more ways to use brown rice, explore Classic Rice Dishes.
- Here are more Creole classics, veg style.