Monday, March 10, 2014

Date Night Dinner: Broccoli Risotto

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Today is my last day in Paris and so to get all culture shock on you, I thought I'd start the week with some St. Patrick's Day recipes.  I have to tell you there's a wonderful Italian man in my office who thinks with a name like D'Ambrosio, I shouldn't be celebrating any Irish holidays.  But the truth is, my dad's mom was part-Irish so I can claim some heredity there.

Even if you can't, I still think it's fun to celebrate different cultures and their holidays, right?  This is the perfect Italian type dish for St. Patrick's Day because, well, it's green!!!  For my job, I sit on a condo board to represent our company amidst the residential owners who live there.  One of the women has just turned 70 and we meet up once a quarter or so to catch up and chat.  She's one of the most amazing women - no children, one brief marriage, and is a pretty famous photographer!

I love meeting up with her and talking.  A few weeks ago we went to Eataly, which if you live in NYC or Chicago, you're lucky to have!  It's an Italian market with lots of small restaurants as well.  We ate at the vegetable station and before you wrinkle up your noses, let me tell you it was WONDERFUL!  I had a delicious Broccoli Farroto, farro cooked in a risotto style.  I took the leftovers home for John and he loved it just as much.  But, since we've eaten all the farro in the house, we made it a true risotto.  It's fantastic either way, I love the added texture the farro brings but risotto always remains one of my favorite comfort foods!
Broccoli Risotto
Serves:  4 (1-cup servings)
2 cups vegetable stock
3 cups broccoli, chopped (stems and all)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 tablespoon salted butter
1/2 tablespoon black pepper
1/2 cup gran padano cheese, grated

In a large pot, add vegetable stock and broccoli.  Let simmer 15-20 minutes until broccoli is tender to the touch.  Using an immersion blender or blender, blend the broccoli and vegetable stock together and strain, pressing on the remaining solids to extract as much liquid as possible.

Pour the vegetable mixture back into the pot over high heat until it reaches a rolling boil.  Meanwhile, in a heavy-bottomed pan, heat the oil over medium heat and then add the rice and garlic.  Cook 3-4 minutes until garlic is fragrant and the rice is translucent.  Add the wine and cook until there is barely any liquid left.  Slowly ladle in 1/2 cup of the broccoli mixture.  Stir constantly until the liquid has been absorbed.  If you notice that the liquid seems to be evaporating, rather than being incorporated into the dish, turn down the heat slightly.  Continue with 1/2 cup of liquid until all the liquid is gone, about 25-30 minutes.

Turn the heat to the lowest setting.  Stir in butter, pepper, and cheese (by the handful to make sure it is all incorporated).  Serve immediately.

Until the next time my oven is on...


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Welcome! I'm Dani (aka the Growing Foodie), just a girl balancing her career and passion for all things edible in NYC. I hope you'll join me in my adventures in life, through food. (Click for More)
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