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Sun-Dried Tomato Risotto March 12, 2010

Posted by Deniz Olcay in Italian Dishes.
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“There are people who strictly deprive themselves of each and every eatable, drinkable, and smokable which has in any way acquired a shady reputation. They pay this price for health. And health is all they get for it. How strange it is. It is like paying out your whole fortune for a cow that has gone dry.” – Mark Twain

This quote by Mark Twain really struck a chord with me, and really does explain my reason for loving food so much. On the short journey of life, food is unquestionably one of our primary pleasures. It would be a shame to let life slip by without learning how to master the art of cooking. Everyone can, and everyone should. So what if a dish has butter and it’s bad for your health? As long as it is in moderation, and makes it delicious, it’s fine in my book!

And what better place to start mastering cooking, than indulging in some good Risotto. It is one of those wonderful dishes that is interpreted by the chef in many ways. Simply by keeping some Arborio rice handy, you can cook Risotto on those days when you are not sure what to cook. Shrimp, mushrooms, leek, asparagus are all capable of making this dish shine. Today’s recipe comes from one of those days when I was trying to think of something to cook, and had some sun-dried tomatoes handy. The first time I cooked it, I unfortunately only had the low quality powder-style Parmesan cheese available. Believe me, once you try it with freshly grated Parmesan cheese… You’ll be close to heaven.

Before I start the recipe, I want to thank everyone who has checked out my blog. When I woke up this morning and observed last night’s statistics, I saw that I had a record 150 views in one day. The more views I get, the more motivated I feel to keep on writing new recipes. In short, you made my day. So feel free to send your recipes, ideas or things you would like to see, by using the comment function. I’d be happy to try them out for you!

I want to make a special shout out to my buddy Terje, who was longing for the recipe for this dish. Enjoy it my man!

You will need

1.5 cups of Arborio rice (with high starch content, used for risotto dishes)
32oz or 1 Liter Vegetable stock (The kind in a can or carton)
1 small chopped onion
1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes (In a jar, soaking in oil)
Fresh Parmesan cheese (Never the powdery stuff… ever)
3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Freshly chopped parsley
1/2 cup of white wine (any semi-sweet type will do)
Black pepper

1. Bring the vegetable stock to a boil in a small pot. Turn off the heat and keep a “1/2 cup” measuring cup handy.

Boil the broth in a small pot

2. Pour 2 tablespoons of sun-dried tomato oil (the oil inside the jar) into a medium pot, and also add 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Turn up to medium-high heat. Once oil is hot, add the chopped onion, and cook until translucent (make sure it doesn’t turn brown!)

Olive oil & sun-dried tomato

3. Add 1.5 cups of Arborio rice and 1/4 cup of sun-dried tomatoes. Use a wooden spoon to stir the rice until it is translucent in color (should take no longer than 3 minutes)

Add rice and sun-dried tomatoes

4. Add 1/2 cup of white wine, and continue to stir the rice until it absorbs the liquid

Add wine and stir until liquid is absorbed

5. Once the rice absorbs the liquid, add 1/2 cup of vegetable broth. Repeat this process until you run out of vegetable stock. The rice should be soft on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside (do the taste test around 20 minutes). This could take up to 25-30 minutes, and you should keep stirring the rice to avoid sticking to the pot. If you run out of stock, don’t panic, and just add some water. Remember that it will also rest for 5 minutes, which will give it some time to cook fully.

Grate parmesan cheese and cover for 5 minutes

6. Grate Parmesan cheese into the pot liberally, and add some fresh black pepper. If you agree with Mark Twain’s quote, you can add a tablespoon of butter for some more deliciousness. Give it a nice mix, and let it rest covered for 5 minutes. Garnish with chopped parsley. Enjoy!

Serve with wine, enjoy!

A different angle

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Comments»

1. Nikki - March 12, 2010

Ya know, I’ve had risotto before, and always thought “there’s no way I can make this!”. You’ve made it look pretty darn simple in this post! I think I will be giving it a try in the near future…!
Great blog layout by the way, I like how you put up a blurb on the sidebar of upcoming recipes! That’s a great idea, I may just have to use it… With a different name of course… ๐Ÿ˜‰

Deniz Olcay - March 12, 2010

Haha thanks! I actually can make better risotto than just plain rice. You just have to have patience and constantly stir the risotto for about 25 minutes. Other than that, its pretty straightforward!

2. Bess - March 13, 2010

I just stumbled across your blog today and it’s a new favorite! Love that you cater to the vegetarians. Keep up the great work ๐Ÿ™‚

Deniz Olcay - March 15, 2010

Thanks Bess! Glad you like the blog, I actually just noticed that I do not have any meat dishes on here =) Turkish cuisine is rich in vegetarian options, so I’ll keep posting vegetarian dishes. I will soon post up my grapeleaves recipe, highly reccomended!


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