So, when I originally made this, I didn’t have quite the right quantities for doing so (I think I only had half the necessary rice and tried to reduce accordingly), but what I got out of it was pretty good, and I definitely want to try making this again. Seems like a perfect spring type recipe, with the lemon, and especially with the herb garden I want to get going out here. 

Baked Risotto with Finnes Herbes and Lemon

Ingredients

  • 3 T butter, divided
  • 1 large leek, white and pale green parts finely chopped and well washed
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2.5 t sea salt
  • .5 t fresh ground pepper
  • 1.5 c arborio rice
  • 1.25 c dry white wine
  • 3.5 to 4 c chicken stock, warmed
  • .5 c Parmesan cheese (I used parmigiano reggiano)
  • .5 t fresh lemon zest
  • (original recipe recommends .25 c fresh parsley, 3 T finely sliced chives, and 1 T coarsely chopped fresh tarragon, I think I did a bunch of dried parsley and tarragon, going to try that again once fresh herbs are more in season)

Preheat your oven to 425. Keep your chicken stock warm in a separate nearby pot. While your oven preheats, take a large (roughly 2 qt, I used this to break in my new dutch oven) baking dish, and lightly butter it. If you’re me, what you’ll do is just use that dutch oven for everything, making this a one-pot meal. If you don’t have a baking dish that’s stovetop usable, grab a separate pot. Whatever you end up cooking in, melt 2 T butter over medium heat. Once melted, add your chopped leek and onion, sea salt, and pepper, and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally, which should take around 10 minutes.

Then, add your rice. Stir to coat in the butter, and cook until the rice starts toasting (you’ll get a nice nutty smell, and it sizzles and pops a bit), about two minutes or so. Then, add your wine, increase the heat to medium-high, and simmer until almost completely absorbed, about three minutes total. (And yes, in accordance with the other risotto recipes, you absolutely need to drink the rest of the bottle of wine for science.)  Then, add 3 c of chicken stock, bring everything back to a simmer, and either just put it straight in the oven, or, if you needed a separate dish, put it in that. 

Bake your risotto for five minutes at a time, stirring every five minutes, for fifteen minutes total, until the stock is completely absorbed into the risotto. (See the difference between pictures 3 and 4.) Remove from the oven, and stir in your herbs of choice, the remaining 1 T butter, the parmesan, and the lemon zest. Then add the remaining .5 to 1 c chicken stock slowly, and stir until the rice is creamy. Season to taste with more sea salt and pepper, and enjoy!

Hey, folks!  It’s been a while, I know, but I haven’t really been cooking that much in the last month or so, and when I have been, it’s been repeats of things I’ve made on here in the past. But, if there would be any interest in a weekly post with recipes of Stuff I’ve Made this Week, I’d be happy to do a weekly roundup. I’ll put a question mark at the end so that folks can chime in.

I actually got to make this twice in the past week, and with slight variations each time.  This is a great summer recipe, especially with minimum and low temperature oven usage.

Pearl Couscous with Olives and Roasted Tomatoes
Makes enough to feed several people multiple days, or one person at minimum a week

Ingredients

  • 1 qt (1.5 lbs) cherry or grape tomatoes (if you have the ability, go for various hues, mine were from a combination of the farmer’s market and my own garden)
  • 5 large garlic cloves, unpeeled (can be increased if smaller, of if you like garlic)
  • .25 c olive oil
  • .25 c warm water
  • 1 t fresh lemon juice
  • 1 t salt
  • .5 t pepper
  • 2.75 c chicken stock (substitute Parmesan broth if you’re vegetarian)
  • 2.25 c Israeli/pearl couscous (you can also use Lebanese, which is bigger, but then add at least .5 c more of stock/broth to compensate)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • .5 c pitted Kalamata olives, chopped
  • .33 c fresh parsley, chopped (this can be left out)
  • .25 c fresh mint, torn
  • 1 t fresh thyme, chopped
  • (I also added a few chopped sprigs of oregano in one version)

Preheat your oven to 250, and while it does so, slice your cherry tomatoes in half, laying them out cut sides up on a baking sheet.  Add the unpeeled garlic, and roast in the oven for an hour, until they start to wrinkle at the edges.  Remove from the oven, and set to cool.

Peel the roasted garlic, and puree with oil, water, lemon juice, salt, pepper, and .5 c of roasted tomatoes until smooth.

Bring your stock to a boil in a large pot, stir in the couscous, and reduce to a simmer, cooking uncovered for the length of time specified in the couscous’ instructions (usually 6 minutes, go a bit longer if you do the larger Lebanese couscous).  Remove from heat, cover the pot, and let sit ten minutes. Then, take the baking sheet you used before and spread the couscous out in a single layer, and let it cool. 

(Both the dressing, tomatoes, and couscous can be made ahead of times.)

Take your remaining tomatoes, and your chopped olives, parsley, mint, and thyme, and add to the bowl, stirring in the couscous so that everything mixes together.  Then, add the dressing and give it a few more stirs, until you have something similar to the final picture. 

All of these amounts can be increased or decreased based on personal tastes/diet preferences. I prefer this either chilled, or just at room temperature.