Saturday, June 12, 2010

Crock Pot Risotto

This is a dish I make fairly often because it's so easy and healthy, too! It is based on this recipe which uses Swiss chard, but I just can't help but modify recipes, so here's my take on it:
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups uncooked Arborio rice
  • ¼ cup dry white wine
  • 3 ¾ cups vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 4 cups spinach
  • ½ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Heat olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook 4-5 minutes until translucent. Pour into crock pot. Add rice to stoneware and stir until coated with the olive oil-onion mixture. Pour white wine and chicken broth over top. Add garlic powder and stir again. Top with spinach.

Cover and cook on high 2 hours or until all the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the Parmigiano-Reggiano and serve immediately.

One great thing about this recipe is it is highly modifiable. It is gluten-free and can be entirely vegetarian or even vegan if you want to substitute out the cheese. Here are some other variations I've tried:
  • Substitute 3/4 cup of vegetable juice for part of the liquid (so just use 3 cups of broth).
  • Add shredded or cubed chicken or turkey to the mix (this time I used the meat from half of a rotisserie chicken that we had left over).
  • Add 1-2 Tablespoons of your favorite dried Italian herbs.
  • Swiss chard! (See the original recipe link above.)
  • Use brown rice instead of white. This time I used brown Basmati rice, because that's what we had on hand. Note that you'll have to increase the cooking time to at least 3 hours if you use brown rice, but it's a little heartier and healthier this way!
It's not the most beautiful dish, but it sure is tasty!

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