If there’s one thing I’ve learned the hard way it’s that risotto is not a weeknight food. At least not for someone who is consistently dead asleep by 10pm. It’s actually perfect for Friday nights for me, because I find the whole process very soothing and I also usually have just enough of that frantic pre-weekend energy to push me through.
Tonight was a good risotto night, as it’s been kind of dark and rainy all day, my back isn’t hurting as much – which is either progress or doctor-approved high doses of Aleve – and, oh yeah, we’re broke and couldn’t go out on a date like normal people.
In case you’re new, you might not know that I do not make traditional risotto because I don’t really like arborio rice. I can’t put my finger on why, but it just never really does it for me. Barley, though, barley is like gold in this house. Gold that sells for 1.31 a pound.
Anyway, it’s made the same way. Let’s take a little journey supplemented by photographs, shall we?
- Heat 5 cups of liquid (any combo of broth and water) over medium in a saucepan.
- Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
- Add about a cup of chopped onion (embarrassingly, I didn’t have an onion on hand, or even frozen chopped onions, so I had to skip this step).
- Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and heat until fragrant.
- Add a little over a cup (probably about 1 1/4 cup) and cook, stirring, until coated with the olive oil.
- Add about 1/2 cup of dry white wine.
- When the wine has cooked down, start adding the broth. Add about 1/2 cup at a time and let that absorb before you add more. Repeat until all of the broth is absorbed. This usually takes about 40-45 minutes.
Okay, true confession: sometimes I just dump all five cups of the broth in with the barley and let it go. I know, I know. They’re going to take away my home chef identification card. To my credit, I did it the right way this time.
- I made spinach risotto this time around, so I added 1/2 a bag of frozen cut spinach when I poured in the last of the broth.
- When all liquid is absorbed, add salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese to taste.
- Stir and heat over low until all cheese is melted.
I had mine with baked tofu and some roasted asparagus and zucchini.
I’m having kind of an insane craving for oatmeal cookies, so I think I may need to go deal with that.