Pesto Risotto


• 4c stock 1 1/2c rice
• 1c white wine
• 1 yellow onion
• 1T olive oil handful mushrooms
• 2T pesto
• 1T butter
• 1/2tsp pepper, a bit of salt

1. Heat vegetable stock (homemade or water + bouillon or water + celery, carrot, onion, garlic, s&p) on low. Over medium heat, add diced onion with oil to cast iron skillet. After 5 min, add rice (I used wild) then wine.
2. When wine is mostly absorbed, start adding some stock. I poured at 10 minute intervals, and added chopped mushrooms, salt, and pepper about halfway through.
3. Leave on medium heat and cover. If you use cast iron you don’t have to stir that often, but anything else will have to be monitored. All in all, it will take about a half hour for the rice to be al dente/edible.
4. When it’s almost done, add pesto along with butter. Allow flavors to coalesce a bit, then serve with roasted tomato.

The creamy texture of risotto comes from the starch produced by immersing rice in water. As it slowly cooks, the starch is pulled into the water, which eventually thickens to a delicious consistency. This is enhanced by herbs, and can be further embellished with liquid stuff, like pesto, butter, milk products, or even soup.

Recently, I made mushroom soup and used the leftover to make a quick risotto with prepared rice. If standing over an oven maintaining a risotto is not your scene, you can easily make a delicious dish using the soup + cooked rice method. You can use microwave rice, or just make a plain batch in a rice cooker every week or few days, keeping it in the fridge for different dishes.


Simple Pesto

basil pesto

•6 loosely packed cups fresh basil (daddy long legs from garden that decides to creep around while you’re cutting the garlic not included)
•2-3 cloves garlic
•around 1/3c olive oil
•1/2c pine nuts
•1/3-1/2c Parmesan and Romano cheese (or pecorino if you’re not cheap like me!)

Blend! Makes a little under a jar of pesto (depends how much olive oil is used) which is supposed to last about a week. I served it on multigrain toast with roasted red pepper, spinach, cheese, and mushrooms. Also excellent as a cream sauce base.