One of my favorite dishes from 2011 was this recipe. I’ve had the arborio rice staring at me cutely from it’s Weck jar on my counter, and I decided to whip up another version this past week. Risotto is really not that hard to make, even on a weeknight… I had two heads of broccoli and half a pound of shallots from my CSA box last week. What exactly is one suppose to do with half a pound of shallots?!? I’ve been using them like onions and making salad dressings. I love how they are slightly milder than onions and go well in so many things – and this combo worked so well.
I started with the basic risotto that I made last time, but while the rice was cooking, I roasted some broccoli and shallots to add to the risotto. I thought about blending the broccoli but in the end I wanted to maintain a variety of textures, so I just gave it a good chop. The roasted flavor of the broccoli paired well with the nutty parmesan and the shallots softened and sweetened as they roasted. All in all a lovely combination. So long as you get the basics down, risotto is really a great canvas for so many seasonal flavors.
Roasted Broccoli and Shallot Risotto:
- 4 cups home-made or good quality chicken stock (this is a huge flavor builder, so get the best your can find)
- 1-2 bunches of broccoli
- 6 smallish shallots
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 onion, finely chopped
- salt + pepper
- 2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 tbsp butter
- one handful parmesan cheese (grated fresh from the block, not the pre-grated kind)
1) Chop off the broccoli florets and peel 5 shallots. Place on roasting pan and cover liberally with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast at 350 20-30 minutes until brown and fork tender
2) Meanwhile, heat the stock and bring close to a simmer
3) In another pot, heat olive oil and add the last shallot (peeled and chopped) and onion when hot. Add a pinch of salt and sweat the veggies for a few minutes. Add garlic and cook for another couple of minutes until veggies are soft.
4) Add rice – cook while continuously stirring until the rice is moderately translucent, about 5 min. You don’t want to brown the rice, so if you see it start to change color, decrease the heat.
5) Add the white wine – it’ll smell great, it’ll sizzle, and the rice is soaking it all up! Continue to stir until the rice has absorbed all the liquid. This is where things start to get a little labor intensive, but it’s totally worth it.
6) When the wine is absorbed, add half a cup of the warm chicken stock. Keep on stirring! When all the liquid is absorbed, add another half a cup while continually stirring and repeating these steps. Keep the rice and stock mixture at a high simmer, not a full boil, this will allow all the rice kernels to cook evenly all the way through.
7 ) Eventually the rice will plump up and the mixture will be thick and creamy. Start tasting the rice sooner rather than later, when it is soft with a slight bite, you’re done! You may not need all the stock, so make sure to taste as you go. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
8) When broccoli and shallots are done and slightly cooled, chop into smaller than bite-size pieces. Add to risotto when the rice is done cooking, stir to incorporate evenly. Add butter and parmesan to finish.
9) Indulge and don’t feel bad! You used fresh ingredients, there are no preservatives, and you know all the love it contains.