I am addicted to the Food Network.
If I am out of town or at the gym, that is my preferred station. I might be a gluten-free vegetarian, but I love food. And I love to learn about food. And, even more, I love to learn new ways to cook food. Lucky for me HULU airs a few Food Network shows, and one evening my roommate and I tuned into an episode of The Barefoot Contessa. I know, a lot of people don’t like Ina that much, but sometimes the things she does with food is awesome. And on this particular episode…she was making risotto. The difference was, she was not going to stand over a pan on a stove, stirring and stirring and stirring as the rice worked its way to the perfect texture.
Nope. She was going to bake it.
BAKED RISOTTO!! Who would have thought that would work?
I changed up the original recipe to be vegetarian and make use of what I had in the kitchen, which meant I even (God forbid) took out the use of the white wine. I didn’t have any on hand. I include some sauteed fresh portobello mushrooms as well.
Recipe: Baked Parmesan Risotto with Peas and Portobello Mushrooms
Time: Prep 10 minutes; Cook 50 minutes
- 1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 5 cups simmering vegetable stock, divided
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, diced
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Place the rice and 4 cups of the vegetable broth in a Dutch oven.
Cover and bake for 45 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
While it bakes, clean and chop your portobello mushrooms (if using). Place a pan over medium heat and add olive oil. When the olive oil is heated, add the portobello mushrooms and a dash of salt and saute until the mushrooms are lightly browned on each side. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Remove the risotto from the oven, add the remaining cup of vegetable broth, the Parmesan, butter, salt, and pepper.
Stir vigorously for 2 to 3 minutes, until the rice is thick and creamy. Add the peas and mushrooms and stir until heated through.
I couldn’t believe how beautifully this actually worked out. Honestly. It was amazing. The rice was fluffy and soft. The risotto itself had that thick risotto feel to it. The cheese melted beautifully and really helped give it that added bit of creaminess. I didn’t even miss the wine. And by sauteing up the mushrooms, I gave the risotto a little meatiness. The seasoning was good, but if you are using a good Parmesan cheese, I recommend maybe cutting back slightly on the salt that is added.
My roomie loved this dish and was so happy we had leftovers. I even took a serving in to a co-worker because I had mentioned I was making it for dinner, and he had been having a rough week. When I saw him later that day, he said it was SO good. It made me happy.
So, if you love risotto but don’t want to slave over a hot stove to make it…give this recipe for baked risotto a try. I think you’ll be more than pleased with the results. As for me…I think I will forever bake my risotto in the future. So much easier and much better results.