Sunday, November 9, 2008
My Sunday ritual
For the past few months, since returning to New York, I've travelled up to Washington Heights every Sunday to make a meal with my friend Genevieve Chavez. Genna is arguably the most avid and consistent reader of my blog, so it's shameful that I have not yet mentioned this amazing friend who is also my esteemed sous-chef and recipe-tester!
Today we made a yummy (and healthful) brown rice risotto with broccoli, goat cheese, and some toasted sunflower seeds. This was a total improv that, to our delight, turned out to be quite delicious - especially with a splash of fresh lime juice to finish (I find that goat cheese and lime juice make a lovely couple).
For all you risotto purists out there, I've gotta say: arborio rice is BO-RING! Brown rice has a great nutty quality and even barley is particularly pleasing in the form of risotto. I promise, once you change it up, you'll seldom go back to the boring white stuff.
Brown Rice Risotto with Goat Cheese and Broccoli
- 2 tbsp. olive oil (or butter!)
- 2 yellow onions, diced
- 1 generous glug of white wine
- 1 cup brown rice, rinsed
- 2 boxes of veg/chicken stock, or enough water to do the job (or a mixture)
- 1/4 cup goat cheese
- 1 head broccoli, trimmed into florets and stem slices, and steamed
- 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, lightly toasted (in a dry skillet)
- salt and pepper to taste
- juice of 1 lime (about 2 tbsp.) and lime slices to garnish
Pour the stock into a large pot and set to boil.
Alongside this, heat the oil in a large skillet and add the onions. Add some salt and cook slowly, stirring often, until fragrant and soft. Pour in the white wine, turn the heat up, and cook that booze off. Once most of the liquid has been cooked off, stir in the rice until each grain is coated with the oily onion mixture, and then add two ladle-fulls of the (now boiling) stock. Stir the rice and stock, keeping it at a slow simmer, and work on keeping the grains from sticking to the sides of the pan. Stir stir stir (this dish is labor intensive, by the way)!
When that helping of stock has been absorbed by the rice, add some more and continue in this way, adding stock, stirring, and adding more, until the rice is tender, not crunchy. For me, this takes 4 to 5 stock refills.
When you've decided the rice is done, remove from eat and stir in the goat cheese while everything is still hot, so that the risotto becomes creamy. Add the steamed broccoli and the sunflower seeds. Squeeze in the lime juice and serve hot, with thin lime slices as garnish.