This pea and radish risotto is made with brown rice and topped with crunchy crumbled bacon.
More continued fun with the camera at breakfast time.
That would be a variation of Ashley’s amazing buckwheat bakes. If you haven’t made one yet, check out her recipe page for a whole section dedicated to them. I made a bunch of modifications to this morning’s bake but it included banana & blueberries on the inside with an almond butter, coconut butter and almond milk frosting on top. Worth every one of the 30 minutes it takes to bake!
This weekend was kind of a wash weather wise. Yesterday, it was cold and rainy and today, while a little warmer, was still gloomy. Instead of normal summer foods I was craving something more comforting. Risotto is one of those dishes that defines “comfort food” to me. My mom makes a wonderful dried porcini mushroom and sausage risotto in the winter that is creamy, cheesy and everything risotto should be. So many times I’ve ordered a risotto dish at a restaurant only to be served something that is masquerading as a rice pilaf. The difference is in the method. People say risotto is time consuming but it’s really not. Rice takes the same amount of time to absorb the necessary liquid whether you set it all in the beginning and walk away like a typical rice dish or, you slowly add the liquid in stages like a risotto. Risotto is not any more time consuming, it just needs a little more tlc. And I can assure you that added tlc is more than worth it when it results in this.
Since it’s at least supposed to be warm weather season, I decided to keep this risotto on the lighter side with peas and radishes. This was served as a side dish to some grilled steaks but could definitely steal the show as main course if you wanted it to. In fact, it would be excellent with some grilled shrimp as a stand alone dish.
I actually found some brown Arborio rice at the bulk bins last time. This was the bottom of the container though so it was mixed with a little bit of regular, longer grain rice that was left when I poured it in. They technically have different cooking times, like different shaped pastas would, but I just rolled with it. I wasn’t about to pick apart the different shaped rice.
Aren’t those radishes cute with their little tails? They kind of remind me of tadpoles.
Anything that starts with butter has gotta be good, right?
Some diced onion, garlic and shallot.
You know where this is going…sauté.
Once the mixture has softened, add the rice to toast and absorb all the oil & butter.
And if you haven’t yet been convinced to make this. Maybe this will help.
Some for the risotto, some for you. It’s only fair.
After the risotto absorbs the wine (anywhere from about 1/4-1/2 cup will do) slowly ladle some heated chicken broth (or veggie) into the pan with the rice until it just covers it. Once it’s almost completely absorbed, add more until all the broth is gone and the rice is fully cooked. Here’s where I’ve heard many an Italian swear by different methods. Some say do not touch or stir the rice at all while it’s going through this process. My mom and family fall into this group. Others say to stir every now and then during the cooking process to release the starches in the rice which makes for a creamery risotto. I’ve tried both and actually prefer the latter. Sorry mom. This works especially well with white rice as it breaks down easier than brown.
While the rice is cooking, prep the veggies.
And grate the cheese.
When the rice has absorbed all the liquid and it’s fully cooked (taste test here, ours was a little al dente last night) add the frozen peas, radishes, some fresh chopped herbs and grated cheese.
Season to taste and top with some crumbled bacon.
Does bacon even need an explanation? I didn’t think so.
- 1¼ cup brown Arborio rice
- 40 ounces chicken broth
- 2 tbsp EVOO
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- ½ large onion, diced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1¼ cup frozen peas
- 1 cup diced radishes
- ¼ cup chopped fresh herbs (I used parsley & mint)
- ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- 2 slices bacon, cooked well until crispy (optional)
- salt & pepper
- Heat chicken broth in small sauce pan over low heat.
- In large skillet, heat evoo & butter on med heat.
- Add shallots, garlic and onion and sauté until softened.
- Add rice and toss to coat. Let rice toast for 1-2 minutes.
- Add wine and stir rice until wine is completely absorbed.
- Slowly ladle chicken broth into rice until just covering the top of the rice.
- Let the rice absorb the liquid, stirring occasionally.
- Once liquid is mostly absorbed, add more broth again covering only to top of rice.
- Continue until broth is used up and rice is fully cooked.
- Add radishes, peas, herbs and cheese to cooked rice and mix.
- Season with salt & pepper and top with crumbled bacon.