Sunday, February 17, 2013


Risotto can be a dish that could intimidate people. Being in front of the stove, stirring to avoid burning it can be a little discouraging.  But if you learn how to make it, I assure you it will be a favorite side dish. It will add international status to your meals and adjectives such as fragrant, velvety and savory to your cooking vocabulary.

If you invite someone to dinner and you mention that you will be preparing risotto, suddenly people will think you are making a huge effort and dinner is going to be very interesting!  Mention that you will be pairing wine with the meal, and they will ask you “what should we wear?”  Smile and respond “Come as you are; it is just a casual dinner.” 

To make risotto, all you need are basic ingredients found in most kitchens; butter, onions, white wine, chicken broth and fresh broccoli. You will need Arborio rice; if you are not familiar with it from your local grocery, try World Market. Trust me; you will have some in your pantry from now on. 

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, finely chopped
kosher salt and black pepper
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth, plus more if needed
1/2 cup chopped broccoli 


Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in a medium-sized pot over medium heat.
Add onions, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft, about 6 minutes. Add rice and broccoli and cook uncovered, occasionally stirring, for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until absorbed.  Add half the broth and simmer, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, about 10 minutes. Add the remaining broth and simmer, stirring once, until the rice is tender and creamy, 8 to 10 minutes. (If the rice is not cooked through add more broth and continue to cook until tender.)  Sprinkle with additional chopped broccoli, or Parmesan, or if desired bacon pieces or chopped pepperoni.

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