A couple years ago when I was unemployed, I went through a huge risotto phase. I liked cooking the traditional Italian dish because it required so much attention. For a person who didn't have a job, I felt like I was actually doing something with all that stirring. Now, however, I rarely make risotto because I can't be bothered to stir the rice constantly for 20 minutes. That's why I was thrilled to come across this recipe for baked risotto. The entire thing is cooked in the oven, and you only have to stir once halfway through the cook time!
Grilled asparagus is tossed into the rice at the last minute, but if you prefer to use a different vegetable, go right ahead. To learn the uncomplicated technique, keep reading.
3 Tbs. olive oil Serves 4 to 6.
2 leeks, white and light green portions, halved, rinsed well and thinly sliced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. chopped fresh thyme
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 1/4 cups vegetable broth, warmed
1 1/2 lb. asparagus, tough ends trimmed
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
3 Tbs. cold unsalted butter, cut into 6 pieces
3 Tbs. olive oil
Serves 4 to 6.