Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Baked (not stirred): risotto

I’m a big fan of risotto but not really a big fan of hovering over the stove and stirring and stirring. When I saw a recipe for baked risotto in Donna Hay’s issue 33, I had to give it a try. After all, I’d be willing to make a few texture-related trade-offs if it meant I could throw Arborio rice and chicken stock in the oven and end up with ready to eat risotto 40 minutes later. The recipe did not disappoint. I’ve gone from making risotto, well, almost never, to having it as a side dish fairly frequently. DH suggests a number of flavor combinations: pancetta, sweet potato and sage, prawn artichoke and lemon, and spinach feta and pine nuts to name a few. The possibilities are endless: the only thing to decide when adding ingredients is whether the add-ins need to be precooked, cooked along with the risotto, or stirred in afterwards.

My favorite is an adaptation of her mixed mushroom risotto. I’ve discovered a new ingredient which makes the risotto outstanding: truffle salt! You can certainly make it with regular sea salt but the truffle salt adds another dimension and is worth the splurge!

Mixed mushroom and pea baked risotto (adapted from Donna Hay Magazine, issue 33)

10g unsalted butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
300 g mixed mushrooms (I like button mushrooms, shitakes, and brown mushrooms) – quarter some and slice some to vary the texture
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
4-4 ½ cups chicken stock
1 cup sweet peas (defrosted if frozen, blanched if fresh)
1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
2 T coarsely chopped Italian flat leaf parsley
40 g unsalted butter to add at the end
plenty of sea salt and cracked black pepper
truffle salt

Preheat oven to 355°F

Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add the butter, oil, garlic, and mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes or until mushrooms are golden (add in the parsley after the first few minutes).

Place the rice, stock, and mushroom mixture in an 8.5 x 12 in (10 cup capacity) baking dish and stir to combine. Sprinkle generously with sea salt and freshly cracked pepper. If using, sprinkle with truffle salt. (note: Donna Hay shows her baked risotto with slightly more liquid than I prefer. I have been using 4 cups vs. her recommended 4.5 cups of chicken stock: adjust to your preference. The amount of liquid required will also very based on your add-ins).

Cover tightly with foil and baked for ~40 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed. Remove from oven, stir in peas, parmesan and second quantity of butter. Taste and adjust seasonings (you will likely want to add an additional generous amount of sea salt/truffle salt and pepper). Serve immediately.


Anonymous said...

I too hate stirring and stirring over the stove. This looks great and quite simple. I have a 12 person dinner party coming up and this will be perfect for a starter.

Anonymous said...

This dish sounds & looks like it could be one of my favorites. Great recipe/beautiful photo! Thanks.

Patricia Scarpin said...

I have made several variations of Donna's baked risotto and they were all magnificent. This looks delish!

Katia Mangham said...

Sabra, the recipe looks amazing! I love risotto and this will be a recipe I try. I have not seen truffle salt, but will definetely be on the lookout for it. I love truffles and anything inffused with their essence.

~~louise~~ said...

Sounds GREAT!

Next time I bake chicken n' rice, I'm going to leave out the chicken! and add your suggested ingredients.

I do have a confession though. I actually like standing over the pan stirring & stirring, adding & and adding...many a conversation has taken place over a pan of risotto in my kitchen:)

GREAT post!

Anonymous said...

Perfect timing. Have company coming tonight and some leftover boiled shrimp and shallots handy. Wish I'd thought of it myself!I always like easy.Hope mine looks like yours. Sudy

Anonymous said...


I do make Risotto quite frequently. This version however could elevate it to "prep and have it done by the time the kids come home hungry from swim class" - a time when I need casseroles or a shield to withstand whining.

Thanks - what a great idea!

Anonymous said...

Hooray! I loved this dish. Must try myself.

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

Gorgeous Sabra! I also wanted to thank you once again for helping me through my technical difficulties. That was much appreciated!

Gigi said...

Great risotto recipe! I love that is baked and not stirred, more free time to mingle with the guests. Just yummy!

Anonymous said...

This really looks like something promising. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Although I don't mind the stirring, I have to say - This way looks even better.

The sweet potato variation sounds amazing, and I can only imagine the difference the truffle salt makes.

Sabra said...

I hear you graeme and louise! stir away but try this one when you are feeling a little lazy!
Thanks everyone for your comments - let me know if you try it!
no problem, aran, happy to help

Katy said...

oh my gosh, what a great, easy idea! this looks delicious too -- i like making risotto for dinner parties, but i hate being tethered to the stove for so long! i will definitely try this out!

Clean ClutterFree Simple said...

Just found your blog--lovely photos. Oh, my, baked risotto! Be still my beating heart, I may eat risotto again! This is now on my must-try list.

Sunny said...

I am so glad that everyone seemed to love this recipe because I would love to bake my risotto. I am not sure of the measurements as I don't know how to transfer grams to cups or tablespoons. Any help to transfer yours would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

I love the sound of this risotto but my adult son does not like mushrooms, is it ok without or could I substitute with something else.

Post a Comment

Thank you for submitting a comment. I love, love reading your comments - they motivate and inspire me. Typically I try to come back and respond to your comment. Forgive me if occasionally I don't. Thanks for dropping by! (p.s. please don't leave marketing messages here)