This past week I officially reached the halfway point of my teacher training, finished up the quarter at school and turned 23. It’s been tiring but fun so I decided to treat myself to some delicious risotto (and brownies, but we’ll save that for another post). I also needed some comfort food to forget my basketball sorrows. I joined two leagues for March Madness this year and both teams I picked to win went out on the first round. Pretty rough but at least now I just get to enjoy watching the games and route for my real team, Duke
Anyway, I’ve never quite understood why there’s this scary reputation behind risotto. When my sister started getting into cooking she asked me for an easy recipe that she could make for a few friends and when I suggested this recipe she became extremely wary because she had heard risotto was very difficult to make. I’ve gotten this a lot and it really confuses me. A lot of people say you have to continuously stir the risotto while the liquid absorbs but I’ve never followed this rule and it’s always turned out great. I usually pour in the stock then stir it once or twice between adding liquids. You only have to be aware of when the time comes to add more liquid so your rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of your pot, but other than that it’s really easy.
This is also a really versatile recipe so feel free to add any other vegetables or seasonings you’re craving. (I would personally recommend butternut squash puree, but maybe that’s just me and my love of all things squash).
2T olive oil
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1c arborio rice
3-3.5c chicken or vegetable stock
1c frozen peas
2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/4c basil, chiffonade
1c parmesan cheese
Sautee onion and garlic in oil and butter over medium-high heat for approximately 3 minutes.
Add rice and sauté 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Add 1c stock and cook on medium heat until all the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with additional 2c of stock. (I like my risotto a little softer so I usually add another 1/2c of stock but you can stop at 3 depending on how you like it).
Add frozen peas and tomatos and mix well.
Turn off heat. Add basil and cheese and adjust seasoning.
**You can also cook up some bacon and top the risotto with that. I don’t like adding it straight into the risotto because it becomes softer, especially as leftovers.