Risotto with Veggies

(serves 4)

It seems that more and more, risotto recipes are being baked in a Dutch oven instead of the tedious stove top version which requires lots of stirring and attention.

I had some ingredients which were used for Christmas Day lunch leftover. Risotto is a perfect vehicle (or pasta!) for lonely ingredients needing a home.

Below is a basic risotto recipe (baked, not stirred) which can be used with a variety of ingredients…let your imagination and your pantry go wild.

1/4 C olive oil
1/2 a yellow (or white) onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 T dried thyme
2 bay leaves
1 C Arborio Rice
1 T butter
1/4 C dry white wine
3 C chicken or vegetable stock

 1/2 C grated Parmesan reggiano, plus more for topping

In a preheated Dutch oven (on the stove top), add oil.
Once shimmering, add onion.
Once onion is translucent, add garlic, thyme and bay leaves.
Once that is fragrant, add Arborio Rice and butter.
Stir until rice is coated and butter is melted.
Add additional oil if it appears too dry.
Add wine, scraping up bits on the bottom of the pan. Cook until wine almost evaporates.
Add chicken stock and your other prepared ingredients.
Place Dutch oven (covered) into a preheated 375 degree oven for 25 minutes.
Carefully remove Dutch oven and stir ingredients. Check the rice for “al dente” like texture. Return the covered dish to the oven and cook for an additional 20 or so minutes. You are looking for a slight thickening of the broth and “al dente” rice – fully cooked but a bit “toothy”. Not gummy. Allow risotto to sit for 10-15 minutes covered on the counter. Add cheese at this point and any other additional topping you want.

Preserved lemons from a friend here in Santa Fe. These are FANTASTIC! They provide a nice punctuation for a creamy, rich dish.

It’s pricey, but required! In addition to the king of cheese, a drizzle of EVOO is always a good idea.