It saddens me a little that one of my favorite dishes - risotto - is not one that my husband and I share. Though he is a big fan of pasta and likes rice when it's in a creamy and flavorful sauce, he does not seem to be a fan of risotto.
So, that won't stop me. When I make risotto, I make him other sides (pierogies, sweet potatoes...) or I'll make risotto on days I know or schedules don't allow for dinner together.
I've tried several risotto dishes - basic risotto, lemon + rosemary risotto (my favorite), sunshine risotto (with sun-dried tomatoes) and now this basic basil risotto.
Basic Basil Risotto
5 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 tbsp olive oil
3 tbsp butter
1 small onion, chopped
10 fresh basil leaves, chopped or shredded (plus extra whole leaves for garnish)
4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
4 oz green beans, cut into 1 inch lengths and cooked (or 3/4 cup peas, fresh or frozen)
generous 1 3/8 cups risotto rice
2 tbsp pine nuts
3/4 cup Parmesan or Grana Padano cheese
- Bring stock to boil in a pan, reduce heat and keep simmering gently over low heat.
- Heat the oil with 2 T of the butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Stir in the onion, 3/4 of the basil, the chopped tomatoes and beans and cook gently for 2-3 minutes for the flavors to blend.
- Reduce heat, add rice and mix to coat in oil and butter. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring constantly, until the grains are translucent.
- Gradually add the hot stock, ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so the liquid bubbles. Cook about 20 minutes until the liquid is absorbed and rice is creamy. Season with S+P to tasted.
- While the risotto is cooking, toast the pine nuts until they brown.
- Add the remaining butter to the risotto and fold in the remaining basil. Add the Parmesan cheese and pine nuts. Garnish with the whole basil leaves.