Monday, April 19, 2010

Do-Over Dinner: A Cheater's Risotto

Photo from Williams Sonoma

 I love risotto.

Good risotto, that is.

And, in my twenties, I cooked a lot of it. I loved the process of making it -- one cup of liquid at a time, stirring, stirring, stirring. It was almost always a "crowd pleaser".

In all likelihood, if I was cooking you dinner during that my period in life, it was risotto.

Now, however, while I still love the process of making risotto, my life doesn't really lend itself to standing over a stove for at least thirty consecutive minutes--consecutive being the key word. Not even close.

Naturally, when I ran across a recipe for a baked risotto in the recent Williams Sonoma catalog, I just had to give it a try. And, well, it won "do-over" status in my house. While I still intend to make risotto the old-fashioned way from time-to-time, it is nice to know with relative ease, we can still enjoy this yummy comfort food.

Baked Risotto with Grilled Asparagus
(Recipe from Williams Sonoma)
Serves 4-6

  • 3 Tbs olive oil
  • 2 leeks, white and light green portions halved, rinsed well and thinly sliced (I had no leeks, so just used yellow onion)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
  • Kosher salt and ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 1/4 cups chicken broth, warmed (I used veggie stock)
  • 1 1/2 lb asparagus, tough ends trimmed
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 3 Tbs unsalted butter
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. In dutch oven (3 1/2 quart is what they recommend -- but mine is at least 5 and it worked fine), over medium heat, warm 2 tbs oil. Add leeks (or onions, in my case); cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, thyme and salt; cook 1 minute. Add rice; cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add wine; cook 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups broth, increase heat to medium-high and bring to simmer. Cover; bake, stirring once halfway through, until rice is tender and liquid is absorbed, 25-30 minutes.
  3. Coat asparagus with 1 Tbs oil; season with salt and pepper. Grill in batches (Williams Sonoma recommends grilling on a grill pan they sell -- but, we used our outdoor grill.), turning occasionally, until  tender, approximately 7-8 minutes. Cut on bias into 2" lengths. Stir 1 1/4 cups broth into risotto; stir in cheese, butter, asparagus, salt and pepper.

1 comment:

  1. Definitely going to try this - thanks for sharing a recipe - I just don't enjoy standing at the stove for 30 minutes.