So I make risotto. A lot. Once I figured how easy it was to make (assuming you pay attention to your pot) I was in love. Count the chopping on ingredients and all it’s probably a 45 minute meal, but one well worth it. I love that you can pretty much make as much or as little as you want–I opt for more because it’s great as left overs. Some recipes use cream and lots of butter, but (forgetting about the mass of white rice) I think mine’s pretty healthy. One of my favorite things is in addition to the normal onion and garlic, you can really chock it full of veggies. Almost all of my risotto recipes end with some greens being stirred in at the last minute. Spinach is one of my favorites, but I also love kale, chard, mustard greens, and in this case Bok Choy.
In the past I’ve kept my risotto pretty simple, using just broth as my liquid. But after making bacon leek risotto I was turned on to the addition of wine. It’s hard to believe I’ve never used it before. I mean, my consumption is pretty high and usually I throw a generous pour of whatever wine I have on hand for a number of recipes, but for some reason not risotto.
My other discovery? Making this dish not totally vegetarian, was the addition of beef broth. Usually I opt for veggie broth, or if really in a pinch, chicken stock, but I found the beef broth in combination with the wine really helped to bring out the earthiness of the mushrooms I added. These weren’t fancy mushrooms, just some ordinary cremini, but the flavor combination really worked.
I can’t promise this will be the last risotto recipe I ever post, but I do think it will still remain I high contender for my best.
Earthy Risotto with Mushrooms and Bok Choy (Serves 4)
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, finely diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 c diced cremini mushrooms
- 1 1/2 c risotto rice
- 1 c dry white wine
- 4 c beef broth
- 1/4 c Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1 head bok choy, tough stems removed and finely chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
In a medium saucepan, bring beef broth to a boil, then reduce heat to a low simmer. You want the broth to stay hot when adding to the risotto.
In a 3.5 quart dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are slightly translucent and garlic is fragrant. Add rice, stirring constantly until slightly toasted, about 1 minute. Add wine and stir well. Add beef broth, 1/2 c at a time, so it is just covering the rice. Reduce heat to low and cover.
Keep an eye on the pot, stirring frequently so the bottom doesn’t burn and adding broth as needed. (I find that it cooks better covered, but am still checking the pot ever 2-3 minutes). Cook until rice is tender and all broth is absorbed. Stir in Parmesan cheese and bok choy, cooking just until choy is bright green and slightly wilted. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Spoon risotto into bowls and sprinkle with a little extra Parmesan cheese before serving.
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