This entry is titled “Real Risotto” because I have never actually cooked a real, legitimate risotto before. I’ve made fake risotto before (fake as in using orzo, not using wine, not using the right rice, etc.). But this time…I had all the ingredients except for the arborio rice. So I made a grocery trip out to T&T and bought a bag. This time, I was going to go all out and make the real thing…but take it one step further: basil pesto, pea and lemon risotto.
I don’t know why, but I was a little intimidated to make risotto. I always hear people complaining about all the stirring involved and how the rice doesn’t get fully cooked. But I was determined. And today was the day…and it was so simple to make! Yielded amazingly rich results and half of it was gobbled all up the day of. Sigh.
Organization really is key here. As all my other recipes, have all of your ingredients ready to go because just like a stir fry, everything happens quickly (yes and no as you will later read in the recipe). But after that, it really is simple. I think it took me about 20-22 minutes to make.
There are so many great “How to” guides on how to make the perfect risotto. I used the one at The Kitchn. They explained every step perfectly and broke everything down into understandable terms. I highly recommend it. I also used their recipe as a base for mine basil pesto, pea, and lemon risotto.
So, don’t be intimidated and give it a go! Your arm will thank me.
Basil pesto, pea and lemon risotto (adapted from The Kitchn)
What you’ll need:
– 1/4 cup butter
– 1 onion, chopped
– 5 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 cups arborio rice
– 1/2 cup dry white wine (I only had a pinot gris on hand)
– 6-8 cups chicken broth
– 1 basil pesto cube, or 2 tbsp pesto
– 1 cup frozen peas
– 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
– 2 tbsp ghee or butter
– 1/2 lemon
What you’ll need to do:
1. In a small pot, heat up your chicken broth. Bring to a slow boil, then decrease to medium.
2. In a large pot, melt your butter on medium-high heat. Add onions and garlic and saute for 1 minute.
3. Add your rice and toast it. Ensure that every grain of rice is covered in butter. Toast for 2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant.
4. Add your white wine and stir until all liquid is absorbed.
5. Add chicken broth to your rice mixture, one ladle at a time. You must keep stirring until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add another ladle of chicken brother. Stir and repeat until the rice is no longer hard in the middle. I used about 6 1/2 cups of broth to get the perfect consistency.
6. Add your pesto (I had homemade pesto cubes which I made from the summer which is equivalent to 2 tbsp of liquid pesto) and peas and stir until combined.
7. Add your cheese and ghee/butter and stir until melted.
8. Squeeze the juice of 1/2 a lemon into the rice mixture and stir.
9. Serve either on its own or with a protein. Makes 8 servings.