Baked risotto, a creamy-textured rice dish, takes a bit more than an hour start to finish, but making it takes very little hands-on time. While it bakes, you just need to stir it every 15 minutes or so, instead of the traditional stovetop method of stirring practically constantly for quite some time. Arborio rice (available in the rice section of supermarkets and Italian groceries) isn’t a whole-grain rice, so it’s good to bolster this with lots of veggie additions, as suggested below the recipe. Adapted from The Vegetarian Family Cookbook. Photos by Rachael Braun.
Serves: 4 to 6
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 32-ounce carton vegetable broth, preferably low-sodium
- 2 to 3 cloves garlic, very finely minced
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Veggie additions (see suggestions, below)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Combine the rice with the broth plus 1 cup water, and the garlic in a two-quart casserole dish. Cover and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. At the third stirring, stir in one more cup of water.
When done, the rice should have a tender and creamy texture. Season with salt and pepper, then let the risotto stand, covered, for 5 minutes or so. Stir in any of the additions suggested below, or use them for topping.
Here are some wonderful ways to dress up baked risotto. You can stir these into the risotto once it’s baked, or use them as toppings. Try some ideas of your own; it’s hard to go wrong!
- Wilted spinach or Swiss chard (chopped) and sun-dried tomatoes
- Sautéed zucchini, red pepper, and herbs
- Finely diced baked winter squash, sautéed red onion, and toasted walnuts
- Sautéed leeks and chopped imported black olives
- Roasted eggplant and Italian-style stewed tomatoes
- Steamed asparagus and wilted chopped spinach or whole baby spinach leaves
- Grated mozzarella-style nondairy cheese
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