Friday, April 13, 2007

Spring Risotto



My mom always said that there are several dishes that Italians use for leftovers, and frittata and risotto are two of them. Any vegetables or meats left over from other recipes can be easily added to the rice with any kind of cheese, and you have a one-pot meal! I this case, we had lots of leeks and broccoli left over. The key to a good risotto is to use a high quality arborio rice, heat up your broth in advance (NEVER use a cold broth), continuously stir the rice, and don't add too much broth at once. The end result should be creamy rice which takes to cheese VERY well. I flavored this risotto with less cheese and topped it with pesto instead. We served it with spinach salad and sun-dried tomato tofu sausages.


Spring Risotto
Serves 2

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 large leeks, thinly sliced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 1/2 cups broth or seasoned water
2 small heads of broccoli, coarsely chopped

Pesto ingredients (I'm not entirely certain of the measurements, adjust to your taste):
1 cup basil leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese

Heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add leeks and saute until soft. Add arborio rice and cook until lightly toasted and covered in oil.


Add wine and stir while simmering until the wine has evaporated. Add broth by the 1/2 cup and stir until the liquid has evaporated before adding another 1/2 cup. Do this until all the liquid is gone. It should take about 25 minutes. Add more or less broth if needed. About half way through the cooking, add the chopped broccoli.

While the risotto is cooking, combine all pesto ingredients in a food processor and pulse until combined and resembles a course paste.

When the rice is cooked (there should no longer be a bright white center in each rice grain), turn off the heat and add the pesto. Stir until combined. Top with more Parmesan, if desired.

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