I was skeptical as well.
I mean, I have tried a lot of the “you don’t have to stir forever” options to make different risottos, and they were…
This recipe (from the nice folk at foodnetwork.com)? Pure genius – and good enough for company and moms-in-law!
First things first; you do need to have some decent Arborio rice – I found this brand in the Italian Foods section at my local market, and it worked a treat.
After that, it is really just a matter of blanching broccoli, shredding Cheddar, and a bit of a sauté before popping it all in the oven to become creamy risotto goodness.
•1 bunch broccoli, cut into florets
•1 tbsp salt
•1 tbsp sugar
•4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
•3 tbsp unsalted butter
•1/2 small onion, finely chopped
•1 clove garlic, minced
•1-3/4 cups arborio rice
•1/4 cup dry white wine (I used a dry rose)
•1 tbsp Sherry Peppers Sauce*
•1/2 tsp Seasoned Salt
•1/2 tsp pepper
•1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
•Minced fresh parsley
•Chopped fresh chives
•3/4 cup hot water + 1 tbsp melted butter
•1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese
*No Sherry Peppers Sauce? No Problem! Simply add a bit of decent sherry (none of that “cooking” stuff) and a dash or three of your fave hot sauce, to taste.
Heat your oven to 425º.
Pour the chicken stock into a small saucepan with the Sherry Peppers Sauce and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat, cover the pan, and keep warm.
Melt two tablespoons of the butter in a large oven-proof pot, then add the chopped onion and garlic and cook for a couple of minutes; until the onion is softened a bit.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the butter and onion mixture.
Stir in the wine and continue to cook for another minute, until the liquid has been cooked off.
Stir in the hot chicken stock, the Seasoned Salt, black and Aleppo pepper, and the chopped parsley and chives.
Note: use as much (or as little) of the parsley and chives as you like. I probably used a good 1/4 cup of parsley and about one tablespoon of chives.
Cover and bake on the lowest rack in the oven for about 25 minutes; stirring after the first ten minutes or so.
While the rice is baking, blanch your broccoli by adding the florets to a pot of boiling water with the tablespoon each of salt and sugar. Cover and cook for three minutes, until the broccoli is a bright, vibrant green, then remove from the heat and immediately transfer the broccoli to a bowl of ice water. Once the broccoli is cooled, drain and set aside.
Remove from the oven and add the shredded Cheddar.
Whisk the melted butter into the hot water and pour over the risotto and cheese, stirring until creamy, adding a bit more hot water if you need to.
Stir in the drained blanched broccoli and serve.
Truly; you don’t need much more than this to make a lovely meal.
Mebbe a nice salad, and of course, some wine – I went with a Chardonnay.
Note: I used a white Cheddar cheese with cranberries, but most any Cheddar will do – or – live life on the edge and try your own preferred cheese. I would think a nice Gruyère would work a treat.