30 June 2010


Is any one word more horror inducing than "risotto"? It evokes a painful and languorous process that sucks the soul from the living. In reality, it is a simple and delicious way to cook starch's. Sure, this cannot be done in 15 minutes, but the small amount of time you do spend is sure to produce fantastic results! Once mastered, the options are limitless.

Risotto is a cooking style where the rice (or other starch) is slowly cooked in liquid while stirring. The stirring releases the starch from the rice and thickens the sauce. When you're done, you are left with a creamy treat that will satisfy any craving.

Last night I made the most amazing risotto, my best one yet! I was inspired to try something new while watching "Chuck's Day Off" on the Cooking Channel. He made a risotto with potatoes and I thought, "Genius!"
[As always, I rarely measure anything, preferring to "eyeball it" and simply knowing how much 1c or 1T looks like. Please keep this in mind.]

Potato Risotto w/Beans
serves 3-4 as a side, 1-2 as main

1 medium white potato, cubed
1/2 c arborio rice
4-5 c vegetable broth
2 T olive oil, extra virgin
2 T vegan butter
1/4 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 c spinach, chiffonade
1/4 c green beans, cut in 2-3 bits
Vegan Parmesan (4-5 shakes)
1 T soft silken tofu
salt & pepper

In a small sauce pan, par boil the potato until just soft, about 2 minutes. Drain and set aside. Then, cook green beans until almost soft, about 2 minutes. Set aside. In same pan, bring broth up to a boil, then reduce to barely a simmer. The idea is to get it hot but not to cook it.

In a large sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Saute onion and garlic until soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add rice and stir until opaque, about 2 minutes. Add potato and stir.

Now, to risotto: Turn up heat to high/medium high. Ladle in about 1/2 c of broth to the rice (this is 1-2 full ladles) and stir. The liquid should come to a slow boil then simmer as you stir. Once the liquid is absorbed, add another ladle. You must stir frequently or risk the rice sticking and burning on the bottom of the pan. If you must divert your attention, add a second ladle of liquid.

When you have about 1 c left of broth, add the green beans. Keep adding liquid until it is all absorbed.
[This is a great time to taste the rice. Is it hard or crunchy? If so, keep adding liquid until fully cooked.]

When your rice is cooked, add the tofu, butter, Parmesan, and spinach. Salt and pepper to taste. Stir together well. Serve!

For the crispy shallots:
In a small frying pan, heat 2 T oil. Cut about 3 slices from the shallot. Toss in whole wheat flour and add to frying pan. Give them about 1 minute per side. Remove from pan and place on a paper towel to drain. Garnish!

Risotto should be served immediately and does not reheat well. My favorite thing to do with leftovers is make risotto cakes. Heat oil in a large frying pan. Roll riotto into a ball, about 2", then roll in whole wheat flour and breadcrumbs. Fry and serve. You can also bake these, but I haven't tried that yet.
I hope you enjoy. Recipe cards are available, just leave me a comment and I'll email it to you. Let me know how your risotto turns out. Have you ever made it before? What's your favorite kind?


Francesca said...

Looks and sounds delicious!

NightMer said...

You are super inspiring! PS: my vegan month is complete!!

Graygrrrl said...

@NightMer- how's it go??? Are you getting sick on eggs and cheese right now?