Hey all! How are ya today? I’m feeling pretty good. I was on 12 hour shifts this week but they ended last night so I actually got my full night’s sleep Oh, sweet blessed sleep . . .
Anywho, I have my very first official recipe for you. I adapted it from a base recipe by a chica who I think is an AMAZING cook. Her recipes and photography have me drooling just about every post she puts out (which is almost everyday). I saw this recipe today and just had to make it as soon as I got home. It looked like heaven, read like heaven, and I knew that I had most of the ingredients on hand. People we’re making risotto today . . . . well sort of.
Let’s get something straight first. This recipe is baked in the oven with almost no stirring involved. That fact right there means this isn’t true risotto since it’s the stirring process that makes risotto creamy and therefore, risotto. When traditional risotto is made, you first coat the rice with either garlic-infused butter or oil which ensures the rice is coated with a fat. Then you sauté it until it’s translucent and start adding hot liquid to it. Then the stirring process starts which breaks down the starches in the rice, hence the creamy texture.
Ok chemistry lesson over. I just wanted to let any Italian food snobs out there (like myself) know that while this isn’t the true, fancy pants risotto, it is still DELICOUS!. So, let’s get to the food!
Baked Veggie Risotto
Adapted from Heather’s Dish, Simple Baked Risotto
- 3-4 Leaves of Kale, washed, dried and torn into bite sized pieces
- 1 Med carrot, cut into small bite sized pieces
- 3/4 c Arborio Rice
- 1 1/2 c Veggie Stock (Chicken would work fine too)
- 1/2 c Dry White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- 2 Cloves of Garlic, crushed
- 2 T Butter
- 2 tsp Italian Blend of seasonings (If you like a less herby taste just use 1)
- 1 tsp Onion Powder
- 1/4 tsp each Salt & Pepper
- Cheese of choice, shredded (I used Mozzarella & Asiago)
*Making this vegan is super easy. Just use Earth Balance instead of butter and use vegan cheese. My mozzarella was actually leftover vegan mozz from some vegan stuffed shells I made last week. Have fun customizing!
- Preheat oven to 350*
- In a pan, sauté the carrot on medium-high heat. This is to soften up the carrot a bit before baking. If you don’t have a non-stick pan, just use a smidge of oil.
- Meanwhile, in another pan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the garlic when it bubbles on top and sauté for 1 minute.
- Add the rice and sauté until it starts to become translucent (about 3-4 minutes).
- Stir in the herbs, onion powder, salt, & pepper
- Pour and spread the rice out in a 1-quart baking dish and then add the carrot and kale. cover it with the stock/wine.
- Bake for 25 minutes and then remove to stir. This is to make sure the veggies incorporate with the rice. Once stirred, top with the shredded cheese and bake for an additional 5-10 minutes or until all of the liquid is absorbed.
I kept thinking that I probably shouldn’t be messing with her recipe but this came out way better than I could have hoped for. The carrot gave a sweetness to it and wasn’t mushy. The kale withstood the heat and didn’t wilt much at all. If you like a nice herby punch (oxymoron?) use 2 tsp. It’s SO great. This is most definitely risotto made in a pinch and I hope you guys enjoy it as much as I did.
I was so excited to make an “easy” risotto dish that I didn’t even get out of uniform.
Have a great day all!