Photo: Emma Alter
Risotto seems like too much of a last minute dish to serve for company, but if you are having a casual dinner with a few friends or family, it's actually a great dish to make. You are pretty much stuck at the stove for the entire time that it takes to cook, and there is nothing harder to do than stir, so it's nice to have somebody in the kitchen to chat with. My kids were both over for dinner, along with my son's girlfriend so they kept me company in the kitchen. I even got them to make the Caesar salad that we were having with the risotto. Of course, mushrooms are a common ingredient in risotto, but I've never put Brussels sprouts in it before and it was very good. If you want a vegan recipe, just leave the cheese out.
This recipe is from the wonderful new book Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Fresh and Fast by Kristine Kidd.
Fall Vegetable Risotto with Blue Cheese
5 cups vegetable broth
10 oz Brussels sprouts, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise
2 tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1/4 lb shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
coarse kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup gorgonzola or other blue cheese, crumbled
1. In a saucepan, bring the broth to a boil. Add the Brussels sprouts and cook until bright green and almost tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the sprouts to a bowl and set aside. Reduce the heat to low.
2. In a heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the oil. Add the onion and suate until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, sprinkle with salt and pepper, reduce the heat to medium, and cook, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir until opaque, about 1 minute. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Continue cooking, adding the liquid about 3/4 cup at a time and stirring frequently, until the rice is just tender but slightly firm in the centre and the mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes. Mix in the Brussels sprouts, blue cheese and a generous amount of pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning.