This is one of our standard recipes, it makes an appearance on our menu at least once a month, if not every other week. I can't believe I haven't posted it to the blog before now, but we're about to fix that! This recipe is from The Best Light Recipe by America's Test Kitchen/Cook's Illustrated. It never fails us and it's incredibly versatile. We typically make up the base parmesan recipe, but we will throw in other cheeses if we have those lying around. One of our favorite variations is to add in some of our homemade mozzarella cheese at the end instead of the parmesan. Another great version is saffron risotto, which turns out a beautiful golden color (second picture), and I've included the directions for it as well.
We top this with any number of toppings -- seen here is roasted brussel sprouts, but any roasted veggie works just as well, asparagus, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli, butternut squash. Sauteed zucchini or summer squash make a great summer meal as does grilled shrimp or chicken. Halved cherry tomatoes or diced regular sized tomatoes, and chopped basil fresh from the garden with mozzarella makes a great caprese version. Risotto can be a great vehicle for leftovers as well. Mix in some leftover steak cut into bite-sized pieces, veggies, pork chops, really anything!
4 cups chicken broth
3 cups water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese (about 1 cup)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
ground black pepper
- In an electric kettle heat the chicken broth and water to boiling.
- In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Cook over medium heat until the onion is softened.
- Add the rice, stirring to coat all pieces with the oil. Toast the grains until the edges start to turn transparent, about 4 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.
- Stir in 3 cups of the broth/water mixture. Stir occasionally, until the liquid is absorbed, 10 to 12 minutes.
- Continue to cook the rice, adding 1/2 cup of the broth/water mixture at a time and cooking until completely absorbed, about every 4 minutes. Taste the rice starting after 10 minutes, cooking until al dente, with just some bite in the center.
- Add in the butter, cheese and then season with salt and pepper to taste.
Variation: Saffron Risotto
- Follow the recipe but omit the parmesan and add 1/8 teaspoon of saffron threads when you add the rice to the onions/oil.