Delicious Italian risotto is an elegant dish to serve for dinner or simple and cozy enough to eat on the couch curled up in a blanket. It is easy to make as well. I am giving you the shortcut version, but not the too short cut version. The too short cut version is essentially making rice with a little wine and broth all at once. The time involved (30 minutes) is to create a flavorful, authentic, and satisfying dish. Instead of Arborio (which I can never find anyway) or other long cooking rice, we will use a quicker cooking Basmati rice. Any rice that cooks in around 20 minutes will work.
Risotto is a great homesteading food because it uses staples like rice, homemade broth, spices as well as long lasting cheeses like parmesan, and leftover vegetables and proteins. It is a cost savvy food and makes use of what we have. It is easily adjusted for the amount of folks coming over and is filling and delicious with just a salad on the side.
1 cup of rice (to serve two or three)
2 Tb of butter
1/2 cup of Sauvignon Blanc
4 cups of broth (homemade preferable)
A good sprinkling of parmesan
Sauté the rice in butter stirring often until rice is just starting to brown and is fragrant.
Add the wine and stir almost constantly over medium high heat until liquid has mostly evaporated.
Add 1/2 cup of broth at a time and stir until almost absorbed then add another 1/2 cup of broth. (You may or may not use all the broth depending on quickly the rice cooks.)
The idea is to slowly cook the liquid into the rice over moderate heat to create a thick, creamy result.
I used my own onion broth that I put up from the onions that were left at the end of the season in the garden that were too small. I did not add very much salt to the broth so that I would be able to spice things as I go. If you are using a store bought broth, it will be quite salty so adjust your seasonings appropriately.
After a few cups of broth, start to add seasonings. I like a little Italian seasoning, and a bit of red pepper. Maybe some smoked salt and black pepper. Add a little, wait for a few minutes, then taste it to adjust.
When the rice is cooked through, add the cheese and any vegetables or protein. In another pan I sauté shrimp in a blend of olive oil, parsley and garlic and serve along side. Enjoy a glass of the Sauvignon Blanc with it. Perfect pairing!
Use Chardonnay as the wine and mushrooms sautéed in near the end.
Use Pinot Grigio as the wine and sautéed greens like kale or spinach or asparagus.
Use Cabernet Sauvignon as the wine (and a wonderful purple color) with leftover steak.
Use a flavored olive oil instead of butter.
The sky’s the limit! Buon Appetito!