Friday, July 3, 2009

Baked Rosemary Risotto by Gardener Janet

The frenzy of spring planting is waning. The gardens are cleaned out and new perennials stuffed into available spaces, patio plants are bursting out of their pots after the second or third application of fertilizer, it is finally time to relax a bit and enjoy the fruits of our labors.

A pillar of Tuscan Blue rosemary sits in a pot next to the cushioned seat where I read the paper. As my arm grazes its pungent leaves, I loose track of the news and start to think about we could have for dinner.

How about grilled salmon, a nice salad with mixed greens, fresh basil, tomato and buffalo mozzarella, and maybe rosemary risotto? I use a recipe for baked risotto that is much less time consuming than traditional recipes. It is drier and has a firmer texture, but for easy summer meals or entertaining, it can’t be beat.

Baked Risotto

Preheat oven to 400 degrees

3 ½ cups chicken broth
2 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary leaves
4 Tbsp (1/2 stick) butter
1 onion, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
3 tsp crushed garlic (or 3 minced garlic cloves)
½ cup dry white wine
2 oz (1 cup) grated parmesan cheese

Bring broth and rosemary to simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover and keep the broth warm over the lowest possible heat.

Melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until lightly browned, about 9 minutes. Stir in the rice and cook until the edges begin to turn translucent (about 3 minutes). Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant (about 15 seconds). Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently until it is completely absorbed (about 2 minutes).

Spread the rice mixture into a 9 x 13 inch baking dish. Pour the warm broth over the top. Bake until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (about 25 minutes).

Stir in parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Substitute the rosemary with sage, oregano, basil, or other herbs to serve with other main course dishes.

Back to the paper…..