We’ve always had a complicated relationship with risotto. On one hand, it’s creamy, decadent and delicious. On the other hand, it’s kind of fussy and takes a while to make. But Sarah Copeland, author of the new cookbook Every Day Is Saturday, is showing us that risotto can be so effortless, you can even make it with your kids.
“When we lived in New York City, we had a farmers market half a block from our front steps,” Copeland writes. “Every Wednesday, we’d stroll down the block with Greta and let her pick three vegetables for dinner that night. Her combinations were good challenges for my cooking muscle. When summer slipped into fall one cool morning, we brought home corn, kale and young purple carrots, and this dish was born.”
If you’ve given up on risotto, Copeland thinks you should give it another shot. “Risotto is the ultimate comfort food—warm and filling—and when it comes right down to it, easier than most of us believe,”she writes. “Make this with your favorite vegetables in any season, adding more if you’re a veggie-centric sort, or less if you want mostly soothing rice. The white risotto combo (onion, rice, white wine and Parm) is a classic and morphs readily to your whim.”
We’re sold. Pass the Parm.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 cups (400g) arborio rice
⅔ cup (160ml) dry white wine
5 to 5½ cups (1.2 to 1.3L) chicken broth or water, warm
Fine sea salt
Freshly ground pepper
4 tablespoons (56g) unsalted butter
1 bunch young heirloom carrots (about 6)—trimmed, scrubbed and halved lengthwise
½ bunch (45g) Tuscan kale, larger leaves torn or cut into pieces (about 3 cups)
2 ears corn, kernels cut from the cob
½ cup (15g) grated Parmesan cheese, plus more coarsely grated for garnish
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir to coat with the oil. Stir in the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated, 1 minute more.
2. Stir in 2 cups (480ml) of the warm broth or water, season with salt and pepper, and bring to a boil. Stir, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Add another ½ cup (120ml) of the broth or water and continue stirring, adding more liquid ½ cup at a time, until it has been absorbed and the rice is al dente, 20 to 25 minutes. Most of the liquid should be absorbed and the rice just cooked when you have about ½ cup broth remaining.
3. While the rice cooks, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 tablespoon of the butter in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the carrots and brown slightly. Add enough water to come about a third of the way up the carrots and cook until just fork tender but still deep in color. Add the kale and stir to wilt, 5 minutes more. Add the corn and cook until the kernels turn bright yellow but are still crisp, 1 minute more. Season the vegetables well with salt and pepper, and use a slotted spoon to remove them from the liquid.
4. Stir another ½ cup broth into the risotto as needed. Stir in the remaining 3 tablespoons butter and the cheese. Stir in the vegetables or serve the risotto in bowls topped with the warm vegetables and coarsely grated Parmesan.