Saturday, August 15, 2009

Veggie Risotto

Risotto is kind-of a funny dish for me. The first time I'd ever heard of it was when I was going through a pile of recipes my grandmother had sent me. I read it and thought, "that sounds good, and it looks pretty easy." And I was right. It's a little time-consuming, but not all that difficult. Since then, I've read on other food blogs, and seen in movies, that risotto is like this big thing -- it's a rare dish, or a delicacy, or a really complicated something-or-other. I don't get it. It's really not.

I really like risotto (especially this version) because it's pretty adaptable. I'll give you the basic recipe, and then what I did with it.

2 tbsp butter
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup white rice
1/3 cup white wine
3 cups water, divided
2 cups chicken stock/broth, divided
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

In a large non-stick saucepan, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion, and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice, and cook for 1-2 minutes, coating all grains with the leftover buttery film. Add wine (it will be a little splattery), cook until rice absorbs all liquid. Add 1 cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, until all liquid is absorbed. Add 1 cup broth. Continue alternating after each cup is completely absorbed. Remove from heat. Add cheese, stir.

So that's the basic idea. If you want to do it up Mexican style, mix in some chopped cilantro with the cheese, and serve it with sautéed chicken and jalapeños. If you want to mix veggies in (like I did), cook up some green and red bell peppers, zucchini, corn, and green beans in olive oil in another pan while the rice is cooking. Add them with the Parmesan cheese at the end, along with whatever herbs you want. I use parsley, basil, savory, and thyme with the veggies. It could be a one-dish meal if you mixed some sausage or chicken in also, though it's primarily a side dish.

One other side note: at my grocery store, I can usually find cooking wine in the aisle with fancy cooking oils and vinegars.


Scott and Jillian said...

I've always been slightly intimidated by risotto. Maybe I watch too much Hell's Kitchen, where he's always getting mad at them for messing up the risotto. Looks like I need to try it!!

ten_33 said...

I go to the liquor department at the grocery store and buy the small 4 packs of a decent wine. Then I have 3-4 small bottles of white and 3-4 small bottles of red wine on hand for cooking. Then I am not having to worry about pouring out the excess, storing, and so on.