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
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
- Preheat an oven to 400°F.
- In a 3 1/2-quart wide Dutch oven over medium heat, warm 2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 8 minutes.
- Add the garlic, thyme and salt and cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly toasted, 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the wine and cook for 1 minute. Stir in 3 cups of the broth, increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a simmer.
- Cover the pot, transfer to the oven and bake, stirring once halfway through, until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes.
- Coat the asparagus with the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Preheat a stovetop grill pan over medium-high heat. Working in batches, grill the asparagus, turning occasionally, until tender, 7 to 8 minutes per batch. Cut the asparagus on the bias into 2-inch lengths.
- Stir the remaining 1 1/4 cups broth into the risotto, then stir in the cheese, butter, asparagus, salt and pepper. Spoon the risotto into warmed bowls and serve immediately.
Serves 4 to 6.
- Rice, Main Dishes