Monday, July 25, 2011

Black Rice Risotto- Worth the Effort!

If you have ever made risotto before, or witnessed someone else making it, you know what a painstaking task it is. Why would anyone stand over a hot stove gradually adding ingredients and constantly stirring for almost an hour? Because risotto is fabulous, that's why.

Until now, risotto has been a delicacy that I have avoided due to my "no white food" rule. Because I only eat whole grains, the long grain white rice that is typically used in risotto is a no-no for me. Then, I saw a recipe for black rice risotto in Food Network Magazine. The recipe is Ellie Krieger's. Dietician, and host of the show Healthy Appetite, Ellie knows how to make food both delicious and nutritious.

I've sung the praises of black (forbidden) rice before in this blog, but it bears repeating that this grain is full of protein and antioxidants. And to me, the nutty, toasty flavor is much preferable to brown rice. I've made black rice a few different ways, but this risotto is my new favorite. I have to admit that while I was stirring and stirring, and stirring, and stirring, I was thinking- this had better be delicious because my arm is going to fall off! Imagine having only 1 1/2 cups of rice and you have to gradually get 6 cups of chicken broth incorporated into it! Luckily, Tim offered to take a few turns and eventually we had cheesy, delicious risotto topped with shaved parmesan and chopped basil. It was definitely worth the effort!

Ellie Krieger's Black Rice Risotto
from Food Network Magazine

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups black rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

Bring the broth to a simmer in a scaucepan over medium-high heat; cover and keep warm.
Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the rice and cook stirring, 1 minute. Reduce the heat to medium low. Stir in the wine until liquid is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
Ladle in 3/4 cup hot broth and cook, stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed, 6-7 minutes. Repeat with the remaining broth, adding 3/4 cup at a time, until the rice is tender, but somewhat chewy, about 50 minutes.
Stir in salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 cup parmesan. Divide among bowls. Top with the reamining 1/4 cup parmesan and the basil.

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