Thursday, 18 November 2010

Mediterranean Risotto with Roasted Veg and Broccoli

This is the first time we ever tried roasting broccoli and whoa it was good. With my new found love of broccoli I didn’t think there was any way to make it taste better. There is. Roasting it brings out a whole new flavour and that flavour is yum. But I’m putting the cart before the horse. Roasting broccoli comes at the end.

This recipe is adapted from  a Weight Watchers cookbook I picked up at the library. I adore risotto but most recipes are for 4 people--and the 2 of us can eat like 4 people when it comes to yummy food. Now just because you can doesn’t mean you should, ya dig? This recipe is perfect. It is for 2 people. It only uses ½ cup Arborio rice. I know what you’re thinking, because I have thought it myself. That isn’t near enough for 2 people. But it is. Don’t you trust your Auntie Spidergrrl? It is so packed with vegetables you don’t need all the rice. And you’ve got roasted veg on the side (including that dreamy roasted broccoli) so there’s plenty to fill your belly with.

Mediterranean Risotto

Preheat your oven to slightly higher than 200 C/400 F
6 sun dried tomatoes (not oil packed) snipped into bits and covered in hot water
½ cup Arborio rice
1 large red onion--chop half into dice and the other half into big chunks for roasting
1 fennel--chop half into dice and the other half into big chunks for roasting (if you can’t get fennel then just do some celery for the risotto but not for the roasting)
1 red pepper--chop half into dice and the other half into big chunks for roasting
½ cup chopped smoked tofu (or mushrooms)I used Taifun smoked tofu with almond and sesame
¼ cup chopped olives
50ml (2oz) dry white wine
2 cups simmering vegetable stock
½ tsp each dried basil and oregano
2 TB vegan parmesan cheese

2 cups tenderstem broccoli drizzled with 1 ½ tsp olive oil and pepper--put this aside until the end.

Take your onion, fennel and pepper chunks and drizzle with 1 ½ tsp olive oil and a pinch of dried basil and oregano. Put them on one side of a large roasting tin (leave room for the broccoli which goes in for the last 10 minutes.)

Heat your skillet to medium  with a bit of oil. I cheat and lower the fat and use FryLight--think PAM in the US.  Put the roasting veg in the oven to do their thing. When the oil/FryLight is hot add your diced onion, fennel and pepper (and mushrooms/celery if you are using) to the skillet  and stir until softened. Start your stock boiling and reduce heat to simmer. Add your rice and stir to coat with hot oil.

Add your wine and allow it to bubble up for a few minutes then add ¼ of the hot stock and keep stirring as the stock is absorbed. Add another ¼ of the stock and keep stirring.

When you are about half way through (with about 10 minutes left) put the broccoli in the oven. Set your oven timer for 10 minutes. Add the sun dried tomatoes and their liquid and keep stirring until it absorbed. Also add the smoked tofu (if using) and olives at this time. Then add the remaining liquid and keep stirring until all is absorbed. Add the dried herbs and the vegan parmesan cheese and stir to coat. Twist on lots of cracked black pepper then remove from the heat and let it rest until the timer goes off. For me this was about one minute. I checked the broccoli at 9 minutes and it seemed good so I took it out early. The whole risotto only takes about 25 minutes to cook from start to finish.

This was amazingly rich and satisfying. All those lovely veg really fill you up. And as I’ve said the broccoli was verging on orgasmic

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