Guest Post by Nan Slaughter of Pots and Pins
There is a definite chill in the air, and I’m not just talking about the mister opening his checkbook either! Winter is upon us up here in the Great Northwest…no snow yet but when the temperature dips below our average (50 degrees) it’s time to break out the comfort food! And nothing says comfort like risotto! Even my mister would agree, and he is most disagreeable…his favorite food is boiled chicken and mashed potatoes and serving him anything colorful and flavorful is always risky so you know it’s good when someone with his bland-as-mush-palate will eat risotto! But then, this is no ordinary risotto! It’ll have your taste buds doing a feel-good dance in no time with it’s creamy, cheesiness and the freshness of the tomatoes – to say nothing of the subtle hint of saffron…guiro su dio!…Cross my heart and hope to die! Break out the pots and give this one a try…it’ll cure what ails you and then some!
- 4 tomatoes, (about 2 lbs.) flesh scooped out and skin discarded
- 1 (32 oz.) container chicken broth
- 2 pinches saffron threads
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 2 tablespoons butter, chilled and cut into pieces
- 2 cups baby spinach (a few generous handfuls)
- ½ pint cherry tomatoes, halved
- ½ cup Parmesan, grated
Using a food processor, puree the tomatoes. Pour into a medium saucepan and add the chicken broth and saffron. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then keep warm over low heat.
In a deep skillet, heat 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and garlic; season with salt and pepper and cook until softened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the rice to coat with the oil, increase the heat to medium-high and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and cook until slightly evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in a couple ladlefuls of the warm tomato broth, stirring constantly until absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding the broth, a couple of ladlefuls at a time, stirring after each addition until absorbed and to prevent sticking. Cook until the rice is tender and the mixture is creamy but not soupy, about 18 minutes. During the last two minutes of cooking, stir in the butter.
Remove from heat and toss in the baby spinach and Parmesan cheese and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Recipe Adapted from Everyday With Rachel Ray Magazine, November 2008, Serves 4.