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Archive for October 19th, 2010

I found this splendid little risotto in the NY Times. Normally, when I’ve made risotto in the past, a grated cheese is added at the end (for me, that would be a grated soy cheese). In this recipe, pesto is added at the end, and what an addition this was. This just might be my favorite risotto.

Risotto with green beans (from the NY Times, with nondairy modifications by me)

for the pesto:

1 or 2 garlic cloves, to taste

1 1/2 cups fresh basil leaves

2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds

salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1/3 cup grated soy parmesan

for the risotto:

1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and broken in half

7 cups broth

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1/2 medium onion, minced

1 1/2 cups arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and freshly ground pepper

To make the pesto, turn on a food processor fitted with a steel blade and drop in the garlic. When it is chopped and adhering to the sides of the bowl, stop machine and scrape down the sides with a spatula. Add the basil, pumpkin seeds, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Process til smooth and creamy. Add the parmesan, and pulse until well combined.

To make the risotto, bring the broth to a boil in a saucepan, and add the green beans. Boil for five minutes, remove the beans with a skimmer, and refresh with cold water. Turn down the heat under the broth and keep at a simmer.

Heat the oil over medium heat in a large heavy nonstick skillet. Add the onion. Cook, stirring, until it begins to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes until the grains separate and begin to crackle.

Add the wine. Cook, stirring, until there is no more visible in the pan. Stir in enough of the simmering broth to just cover the rice. The broth should bubble slowly. Cook, stirring often, until it is just about absorbed. Add more broth. Continue to cook in this fashion – stirring often and adding more broth when the rice is almost dry – until the rice is tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Taste and add salt if necessary.

Add the green beans and another ladleful of broth to the rice. Stir in the pesto, taste and adjust seasonings with salt and pepper. Remove from the heat, stir a couple of times, and serve. The risotto is creamy. Makes 6 servings.

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