Thursday, February 25, 2010

Recipes for Health: Risotto with Broccoli

Can you think of a more comforting winter food than risotto? I couldn't, and I was so taken by Martha Rose Shulman's recipes that I had to try one. I had purchased some chicken broth a couple of weeks earlier, I'd had a bottle of white wine chilling in the fridge for well over a month that was begging to be used, and I have this one Recipe for Health per week when I was cold last weekend I decided it was time to try Martha's risotto with broccoli.

From what I understand, risottos are generally made the same way: onion, garlic, arborio rice (it absorbs the chicken broth better than other rices, I think...), wine, chicken broth, salt, pepper, and any add-ins you'd like to have (mushrooms, peas, carrots, etc.). You continually add chicken broth as it becomes absorbed by the rice until it turns into a creamy, delicious dish that you can eat as a main dish or as a side.

This was only my second time making risotto, and the first time I had done an excellent job of chopping an onion and drinking wine while my friend C made the really, this was my first time making risotto. I picked up some broccoli, an onion, garlic, and arborio rice and went to work!

Here you can see it's not quite done yet and there's tons of broth to be soaked up by the rice:
Here's the finished product:
Mmm creamy... I paired mine with some roasted asparagus:
It's a rather laborious process - tending to the pan to see how the rice is absorbing the broth, stirring consistently, making sure the rice is cooked... But let me tell you, it's worth it. This dish is sooo you can see, this recipe made a TON of risotto. I'm STILL eating it and I've been eating it at practically every lunch and dinner this week! Luckily it's delicious, so I'm not yet (too) sick of it.

Enjoy, and check out Martha's other risottos! Come spring, I will definitely be returning to that page to try some of her spring risotto recipes.

Recipe after the jump!

2 quarts well-seasoned chicken or vegetable stock, as needed
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced onion
1 1/2 cups arborio or carnaroli rice - I used arborio
1 to 2 garlic cloves (to taste), green shoots removed, minced
Freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup dry white wine, such as pinot grigio or sauvignon blanc - I used a cheap chardonnay
1 pound broccoli (2 good-size stalks), stems peeled and cut in small dice, flowers thinly sliced
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley - I skipped this

  1. Put your stock or broth into a saucepan, and bring it to a simmer over low heat with a ladle nearby or in the pot. Make sure that the stock is well seasoned.
  2. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a wide, heavy skillet or in a large, wide saucepan. Add the onion and a generous pinch of salt, and cook gently until it is just tender, about three minutes. Do not brown.
  3. Add the rice and the garlic, and stir until the grains separate and begin to crackle. Add the wine, and stir until it has been absorbed. Begin adding the simmering stock, a couple of ladlefuls (about 1/2 cup) at a time. The stock should just cover the rice and should be bubbling, not too slowly but not too quickly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add another ladleful or two of the stock, and continue to cook in this fashion, stirring in more stock when the rice is almost dry. You do not have to stir constantly, but stir often. After 10 minutes, stir in the diced broccoli stems. Continue to add broth and stir the rice for another five minutes. Stir in the thinly sliced flowers. Continue to add broth and stir the rice for another 10 minutes or so. When the rice is tender all the way through but still chewy, it is done. Taste now and adjust seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Add another ladleful of stock to the rice, along with the Parmesan and the parsley, and remove from the heat. The mixture should be creamy (add more stock if it isn’t). Stir for about half a minute, then serve in wide soup bowls or on plates, spreading the risotto in a thin layer rather than a mound.

What's your favorite winter comfort food?

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