Foodie Blogroll

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Royal Risotto Italiano

The King Reigns Again
I've already done a couple of risotto recipes for Spicy Sweet Potato, however, since risotto is the king of creamy, comfort food you can never have enough recipes for it. This particular risotto variation is overflowing with  flavorful vegetables that are cooked with various methods to maximize their individual flavor. These vegetables, including slow roasted eggplant,oven-dried tomatoes, and braised mushrooms, marry with the luscious risotto to produce absolute perfection.

Royal Risotto Italiano
Gluten Free
Serves 4

6 cups low sodium chicken broth (or vegetable broth to make a completely vegetarian version)
1 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 pint grape tomatoes

1 medium eggplant
3/4 cup + 4 tsp shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
salt and pepper

1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
a few sprigs of fresh basil,chopped
a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking sheets with aluminum foil and spritz with nonstick spray.

Cut eggplant in half width wise so you have two separate sections of eggplant. Peel one section, dice into cubes, and place on baking sheet. (Save other half of eggplant for another use).

Add tomatoes to baking sheet. Spray vegetables with nonstick spray and season with Italian seasoning, salt, and pepper. Place in oven and roast 35-38 minutes (until eggplant pieces are tender and tomatoes begin to burst). Once roasted, remove from oven and set aside until ready to use.

Meanwhile, heat broth in a saucepan until boiling, then reduce to simmer. Maintain simmer.

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in large saucepan over medium high heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant about 30 seconds.

Add rice and cook about one minute, stirring until rice is thoroughly coated with oil.

Add mushrooms and a ladleful of broth and cook, stirring until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.

Add 1 cup of broth and cook, stirring until most of the liquid is evaporated, 2-3 minutes.

Continue to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until liquid is almost evaporated after each addition. Keep adding broth until rice is creamy but still al dente (18-20 minutes).The majority of the broth should be used up.

Stir in roasted eggplant, roasted tomatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, salt, and pepper. Cook 1-2 minutes until heated through. 

Divide risotto among 4 bowls and top each with 1 tsp cheese, fresh basil, and a few drizzles of balsamic vinegar.

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