A Simple Risotto: Root Vegetables and Blue Cheese

When I look in my fridge and spot leftover wine+cheese, risotto is in my future.  I learned how to make this dish from the grandmother of a high school classmate – she’s an absolute spitfire!  This time I made a super simple version: onions and carrots with blue and swiss cheese topped with herbe de Provence seasoning.  It had a nice earthy profile.  A great final touch would have been to add a bit of prosciutto to the mix!

Risotto recipes are essentially guidelines.  Brands, humidity, pots and ingredients all affect how long it takes to achieve the finished product.  Overall it took me about half an hour to make this from start to finish.  I used a Le Creuset to cook the rice, cooked my rice over medium heat (according to my stove’s dial – probably closer to medium-low) and kept the stock simmering.  How did this add up to a quick cook time? Le Creuset  are known to retain heat well so you aren’t waiting as long for the ingredients to return to temperature once the pot is hot and by already having a warm stock, it immediately started cooking instead of warming up.  Once things get going, you can’t step away from the stove but that really should only be the last 5 minutes or so once you get used to how risotto feels.  If you’re making it for the first time, start at  a lower temperature and be prepared for things to take a bit longer – this took closer to an hour for me!  The other option is to bake your risotto until its about 95% of the way done and then just add last few ingredients!

IMG_0882Ingredients:

-1 Tbsp butter + 1 Tbsp EVOO

-2 small carrots, chopped

-1 medium onion, chopped

(I kept my veggies just slightly larger than the finished risotto would be)

-1.5 cups risotto

-1/2 cup wine (although I ended up using closer to a cup this time)

-1 qt of stock watered down with another cup or so, simmering

-3/4 cup cheese, split between swiss and blue cheese

-salt and pepper to taste

-Herbs to taste (1.5 Tbsp herbe de Provence)

Directions:

1. Start heating up the pan at medium-low to medium and add the oils (butter and EVOO)   If you’re adding prosciutto to the mix, cook it first then remove it and add extra oil if necessary.  Add in the onion and carrots and cook until the onions become translucent

2. Add in the risotto and cook until there’s a pop or two then add in the wine.  It should simmer as it cooks down.  If you decide to substitute wine with stock, start adding half a cup of stock here and allow it to cook down until its almost gone.  Keep adding stock in half cup increments until the risotto is cooked to your preference.  The Italian indicator of ‘done-ness’ is a small amount of bite in the center of the rice.  The rice should look creamy when its done – add just a little more liquid if it looks like all the liquid was absorbed by the rice

3. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the cheeses.  Mine sliced easily but yours may need to be grated, crumbled or cubed.  If you cooked up prosciutto, add it back in here.  Add spices to taste.  Often the cheese will be salty enough that you don’t need to add more.

Risotto recipes should be seen as guidelines.  Brands, humidity, pots and ingredients added will all make a difference in the finished product and how long it takes to cook the rice.  Overall it took me half an hour to make this from start to finish but I used a Le Creuset and cooked my rice over medium heat (according to my stove’s dial – probably closer to medium-low).  It also helped that my stock was simmering so that I didn’t lose time heating it up once it was added to the rice like I did when I added the wine.  Once things get going, you can’t step away from the stove but that really should only be the last 5 minutes or so once you get used to how risotto feels.  If you’re making it for the first time, start at  a lower temperature and be prepared for things to take a bit longer – closer to an hour.

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. MealsWithMel says:

    Great recipe 🙂
    Risotto is one of my favorite things to make after a stressful day… Pour a glass of wine, slow down, and keep stirring.

    Like

    1. Michelle says:

      Thank you! I’d love to un-ruffle my feathers in a similar manner but my favorite things after a stressful day are yoga and chocolate. Mostly likely chocolate first…

      Liked by 1 person

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