I love risotto. It’s the mac and cheese of Italian food–creamy, comforting, and delicious. It’s also a gluten-free alternative to the American favorite. While recipes for the traditional arborio risotto abound, I have been working on a healthier brown rice version.
A few notes on the ingredients I use:
The containers of arborio rice sold at the grocery store are absurdly expensive. Whether you’re making white or brown risotto, look for any short grain alternative. They are usually cheaper than the kind marked especially for risotto, and I think the results with the generic short grain are just as good. Our big world market has lots of rice options, so it’s pretty easy for us to get this ingredient at a reasonable price. Lundberg also has a short grain brown available at lots of grocery or health stores, so you can look for that.
Risotto recipes typically call for white wine. I’m a firm believer in using what you’ve got on hand, so I almost always use vermouth (so my recipe calls for it). We drink martinis so we usually have a bottle of vermouth in the fridge. Another good, dry white to use is Sauvignon Blanc. Certainly if you’re planning to drink a white wine with your dinner, using what you plan to sip on in the risotto is a good idea.
Here’s the recipe:
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tblsp olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup vermouth
- 1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 1/2 tblsp cornstarch mixed with 1 tblsp water
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
Put rice and 2 cups of water in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer, cover, and cook for 20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside with the cover still on.
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat. Add the diced onion and saute 3-4 minutes or until beginning to brown. Add the wine and stir for 2 minutes to deglaze. Add the rice and any liquid remaining in the pan. Stir well and add the broth. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring frequently for about 10 minutes or until the liquid has gotten thicker and reduced. Stir in the cornstarch/water mixture and cook for another minute. Add the cheese and stir until mixed in. Season with salt and pepper.