I’ve been on quite a risotto kick lately. Apparently I’m determined to use up the entire bag of Arborio rice that’s been sitting in the pantry before the big move in a couple of weeks. The thing I love about risottos is they’re easy -time consuming, yes- but easy… and a great way to wow the hubs-to-be after a long day of apartment hunting. We settled onto the couch in our pjs with a glass of wine and a big bowl of risotto in our laps and shamelessly watched two episodes of Downton Abbey the other night. It was wonderful.
Oh and as if I needed another excuse to shop at Whole Foods, I’m obsessed with their new brown paper produce bags. Maybe they’re not new and it’s just a California thing… Regardless, paper totes are much more romantic than those terrible plastic bags that are nearly impossible to open and aren’t compost-friendly.
As far as risottos go, this one’s definitely on the healthier side with all of the spinach, mushrooms, shallots and not one pat of butter. Have I mentioned to you that Parm, my favorite cheese in the world, is also high in calcium? I love, love, love these flavors together, especially the fresh, earthy spinach that’s added right at the end.
Serves ~4 entrees (~6 as an appetizer)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 6-7 cups chicken broth (use vegetable broth for vegetarian version)
- 12 ounces crimini mushrooms, cleaned & quartered
- 8 ounces fresh, baby spinach
- 3 large shallots, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup Parmesan Reggiano cheese, divided
- salt & pepper
In a medium saucepan, bring chicken broth to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
In a large heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms and again, sauté until they also start to get tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add the rice and stir to coat. Now, add 1/2 cup of simmering broth and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking the rice and adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly to allow each ladle of broth to absorb before adding the next. Do this until the rice is tender and creamy but not mushy, about 30 minutes total. Remove from the heat. Stir in spinach and 3/4 cup of the Parmesan. Allow the spinach to wilt completely and transfer the risotto to a serving bowl. Sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and serve immediately.
Have any favorite ingredient combos for a future risotto dish? I’m still working my way through that bag of Arborio.