A word to the wise – risotto is not carpal tunnel friendly. If you suffer from it, well, just prepare to suffer for your meal should you go the risotto route. I only mention this because I have it and yes, it was majorly irritated during and after making this recipe. A little more so than usual. I blame the cauliflower. Don’t get me wrong, I loved to eat it in this, but next time I’ll try it in my awesomely wonderful and nifty carpal tunnel friendly risotto maker. It’s. Da. Bomdiggity. That all aside – on with the recipe review!
The recipe calls for a half head of cauliflower and this may have accounted for the risotto being a little hard to stir. More on that below, in hindsight, I will probably use a little less than that next time and be sure to break the florets into much smaller pieces.
The greens called for weren’t at my grocery store, but I was delighted that they had Swiss chard, and used that instead. Yum! Love that stuff.
The recipe starts off by sauteing the onions and cauliflower. So far, easy peasy!
Here we’re at about the halfway point adding the warm chicken stock to the onion, cauliflower and arborio rice mixture. Risotto’s need, on average, four cups of liquid. This one has an added one cup of water in the chicken stock, and some risottos require up to six cups of liquid. At this point, the risotto had already become hard to stir, and I think it was the bigger pieces of cauliflower causing the problem. We constantly had to push down the rice as it wanted to creep up the sides of the pan, much more than usual. We’ve made risotto before with tons of added ingredients at this point besides the rice, but those items were usually diced much smaller. So next time, smaller cauliflower pieces.
After about another 5-10 minutes, the risotto has reached a nice, creamy consistency and we’ve used all the chicken stock. I can’t tell you how YAY we were. We had some tired arms from stirring, even with two of us!
This part of the recipe is the only other part I’d change – more cheese. And I know you’re thinking, really? After one cup? Just a bit more would really enhance the flavor in our opinion, another quarter cup or so.
Fresh oregano is also added, in place of the marjoram we couldn’t get. Even added in at the last minute, it’s still a subtle flavor.
Risotto rice is meant to be cooked al dente, still with a slight bite or chew to it, but if you prefer it a little more cooked, just know to up your chicken stock by another cup or so and add and stir till your rice is done enough. Aaaand, we’re done! Let’s eat!
The cauliflower does add its own subtle flavor to the risotto, so you must like cauliflower if you’re going to give this combination a go. We enjoyed it quite a lot and it went great with the turkey cutlet recipe we prepared the same day. This particular risotto recipe in particular would make a fun new addition to Thanksgiving with its greens and added veggie. The creamy consistency is almost like a gravy – and who doesn’t like that with their turkey? Risotto – it’s what’s very possibly for Thanksgiving! Enjoy!
Cauliflower, Onion and Greens Risotto
from Weeknight Fresh & Fast, by Kristine Kidd via Williams-Sonoma.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: about 30 minutes Level: Easy Serves: 4-6
- 4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1/2 head cauliflower, cut into 1/2-inch florets
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 bunch beet greens or other greens, stems removed and
- leaves thinly sliced
- 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1 1/2 Tbs. minced fresh marjoram
- Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan over high heat, bring the broth and water to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and keep the liquid hot.
In a heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden, about 8 minutes. Add the cauliflower and sauté until heated through, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and sauté until opaque, about 1 minute. Pour in the wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add about 3/4 cup of the hot broth, reduce the heat so the broth simmers slowly and cook, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the broth by about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring frequently until the rice is not quite tender but still slightly firm, about 15 minutes.
Add the greens and continue cooking, stirring almost constantly and adding the liquid about 1/2 cup at a time, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the center and the mixture is creamy, about 5 minutes more. Remove the risotto from the heat. Stir in the cheese and marjoram. Season with salt and a generous amount of pepper. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and serve immediately.
Personally, and despite this coming from a book with Fast in the title, risotto is more of a weekend thing for me. It needs to be stirred constantly from the time you begin adding liquid, making cooking a meat or veggie main at the same time to go with it a little hard. All your attention practically must be on the risotto. If you’re making this for a meal like Thanksgiving, or just any ‘ole time, it will reheat pretty well if you must make it first and finish the rest of your meal after. Just gently reheat on the stove in the same pan till heated through again.
Sis blogging partner said this would be good with mushrooms added as well and I so agree.