Risotto is one of those dishes that can easily feed a crowd, and it looks impressive too. This recipe combines creamy goat cheese, spinach and mushrooms, and the sun-dried tomatoes are a great way to enjoy summer’s favorite vegetable when it isn’t fresh during the winter.
Serves 4 to 6
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion
1 red bell pepper
1 cup sliced portobello mushrooms
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine (I used Chardonnay)
6-8 cups vegetable stock
10 ounces fresh spinach, chopped
salt and pepper, Italian herb mix for seasoning
1 cup goat cheese
1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, sliced
1/4 cup kalamata olives
1. Measure and chop the onions, bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms and spinach. Set aside the spinach for later. Warm the stock in a saucepan over low heat. It should be just barely steaming by the time you start the risotto.
2. Heat oil in a large saute pan. Sauté onions over medium-high heat until the onion is translucent and beginning to break down. Add the garlic, bell pepper and mushrooms and cook until fragrant.
3. Pour the rice into the pan and stir until it is coated with oil. Continue stirring the rice until the edges have turned translucent but the center is still opaque, about two minutes.
4. Add a 1/2 cup of wine to deglaze the pan, and simmer until the wine has completely reduced and the pan is nearly dry.
5. Add the broth at 1/2 cup increments, waiting to add more until the liquid has been almost completely absorbed by the rice.
6. Add the chopped spinach with the last addition of liquid and let it wilt.
Begin tasting the rice after about 12 minutes to gauge how far it has cooked. Add salt and other seasonings as needed. The risotto is ready when the rice is al dente (when it still has a bit of chew) and the dish has the consistency of thick porridge.
6. Add 1 cup of goat cheese to enrich the risotto and make it extra-creamy. Top with sliced sun-dried tomatoes and kalamata olives.
Serve the risotto immediately.