Thursday, March 24, 2011

Portabella Spinach Risotto

Risotto always sounds intimidating to me, but whenever I make it, I'm reminded of how simple the process is, and with such great results.  Local portabella mushrooms were on sale, so I paired them with local spinach and local goat cheese for a creamy and earthy risotto.  Garnish with garlic chives from the garden, and you have a great combination of hardiness and freshness for early spring!  
-olive oil
-1/2 one large onion, chopped
-2 large portabella mushrooms, chopped
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-salt and pepper
-4 c chopped fresh spinach
-2 cups Arborio rice
-1/2 c white wine
-about 5 cups of broth (veggie, chicken, or other)
-4 oz goat cheese
-1/4 c Parmesan cheese
-garlic chives for garnish (optional)

->  Heat broth in a saucepan and keep it simmering until needed later in the recipe.  

Sauté onions and mushrooms in oil over medium heat in a large saucepan until onions are translucent and mushrooms begin to brown.  Add garlic and rosemary and season with salt and pepper.  
Add spinach and stir until wilted. Next, add the rice and mix until coated with oil.  Add wine to rice mixture and stir until the wine is mostly absorbed.  Now, add broth about one cup at a time, stirring with each addition.  Add more broth whenever last addition is absorbed.  Throughout this process, stir constantly and keep risotto at a simmer.  When the rice takes on a creamy consistency and the grains are tender, but al dente, you can take it off the heat and stop adding the broth.  

Finally, stir in goat and parmesan cheeses.  Check seasoning, and season with more salt and pepper if necessary.  Dish up and garnish with garlic chives.  Enjoy!

~*TIP:  Often when I get spinach from the farmers' market, it's covered in a sandy residue from the sandy soil it's grown in.  There's nothing worse than getting a big bite of sand in a bite of delicious risotto!  I like to wash my spinach by submerging it either in a sink or large bowl filled with water.  Shake it around in the water, and then let the water settle.  The sand will fall to the bottom.  Then remove spinach by picking it up out of the water, rather than dumpling the water off, leaving the sand at the bottom, and your spinach clean!  *~

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