Wednesday, May 11, 2011

brown rice spring vegetable risotto

I made brown rice spring vegetable risotto last night, and I reminded myself again that I should learn to take better food photes.

This was my first time trying to cook risotto, but I've read about it on so many blogs I felt like I already knew what to do. I bet you know what to do, too: cook some rice, adding a little simmering broth at a time. Stir in vegetables and other ingredes. Enjoy.

I decided not to use zucchini, and I changed some of the proportions of vegetables to compensate. I used a pound of asparagus, about 3 cups broccoli florets, a whole onion (which I think made more than a cup), 3 carrots, and 3/4 cup peas (have I mentioned lately that I love peas?).

About risotto: since you have to stir the rice constantly, you need to do all your prep work before you even think about heating up the rice. I blanched the asparagus and the broccoli first. Just as I was plunging my green veggies in ice water, EDW got home. I asked him to make a snap decision: "I'm not telling you what I'm making, but decide right now if you want this dish vegan or not."

Edwin said, "let's go vegan!" So we did.

I browned the onion and garlic (also, I always use more garlic than is called for. I don't usually write it in, but if you want your food fancy, add.more.garlic.) in olive oil, and then I stirred in the brown rice. Edwin went to the gym, just as I was adding the first cup of simmering broth.
40 minutes later when he got back, I was still standing in front of the stove, marveling at how creamy my rice had suddenly become. For the first 30 minutes, I really wasn't sure about my risotto. There was no squelchy, creamy rice in my le creuset. It felt like it was crunchy, not anywhere near tender rice in a pot for an inordinate amount of time, and then before my very eyes, it turned into risotto. Amazing.

I stirred in some carrots and caught up with Edwin, stirring all the while. Next I added the asparagus, broccoli, and peas, along with about 1/2 chopped fresh basil and parsley (I eyeballed it during the prep round. I'm thinking it was mostly basil with a couple tablespoons parsley). Since my sous chef, who was at the moment busy mixing up some fresh salad dressing, requested vegan, I skipped the parmesan cheese and butter and added 1/3 cup nutritional yeast along with the salt and pepper.
We had our risotto with a spinach salad, and y'all. Making risotto is totally worth the time and effort. I had my doubts along the way, and I even considered calling Emmel to tell her I couldn't believe she liked all the stirring and watching, but in the end, I was so glad I made this recipe.

This risotto is creamy. It's savory. It's sticky. It's nutty (thanks for that one, brown rice, preesh). It's full of spring vegetables and it made my heart sing. Edwin was impressed too, and we both loved it for lunch leftovers today.
Make some risotto, but don't make it for guests. It requires too much attention and doesn't allow for mingling or cleaning while you cook, so your kitchen is a mess when all is said and done. Make it for yourself. You'll be happy.

No comments:

Post a Comment