Risotto has the reputation of being difficult to make. All that stirring.
My introduction to risotto was through my first boyfriend’s mother.
Oh, high school relationships.
I was a senior in high school at the time and had done some cooking before, but this woman made things far more fancy and complicated than I was used to at home. My parents weren’t bad cooks or anything like that, but they didn’t enjoy cooking the same way she did. Naturally, people who enjoy cooking tend to spend more time in the kitchen creating intricate dishes than just your normal weeknight dinner.
Anyway, risotto. This boyfriend’s mom had told me how complicated risotto was. That it took so long to make. And the stirring, so much stirring. Me, being competitive, thought “psh, I can do that”. I went online to the Food Network, printed off a risotto recipe and tried my hand at it.
That first risotto was a success, and it quickly became one of my favorite foods! It’s a comfort food for me, really. Risotto is so smooth and creamy, yet it fits my qualifications of not having any of the fatty, overly processed type ingredients (I don’t even add any cheese to my risotto anymore. It creamy enough as it is, and you really won’t notice the cheese is gone)! Sure, risotto is essentially a fancy white rice – not the healthiest, but definitely not the worst. I just eat it in moderation. The evening I made and photographed this particular risotto I also had some oven baked tilapia and some vegetable (asparagus, I think).
I topped my risotto with a bit of extra spinach. Other garnishes could be freshly grated parmesan or mozzarella, or parsley, oregano, or basil.
- 1 Tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 large shallot, minced
- 2/3 c arborio rice
- 1/4 c lemon juice
- 3 c chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 c chopped spinach
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. When the oil is warm add the garlic and shallot and cook about 3-4 minutes, until soft.
- Add the arborio rice. Let this mixture cook for another 5 minutes or so, stirring frequently, until the ends of the grains of rice are translucent.
- Pour in the lemon juice and let it absorb, stirring frequently.
- When the lemon juice has absorbed add about 1/2 c of the chicken or vegetable stock. Again, stir this frequently. When the liquid is mostly absorbed, add another half cup of broth and repeat until all of the broth has been added and absorbed. This will take some time and lots of stirring.
- Finally, stir in the chopped spinach and let the risotto cook for just a minute or two more while the spinach wilts.
- Optional: garnish risotto with extra spinach, freshly grated cheese, or herbs before serving.