I talk about food a lot. And other stuff.

But mostly food.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Risotto. And what to do with the leftovers.

I love risotto.  I know a lot of people shy away from it because "it's hard" and "it takes too long," but I've never minded making it.  I find it soothing, and kind of fascinating, to tend to the pot as the ingredients marry and blend, and the rice gets all creamy and delicious.  I also like how you can make it differently every time, depending on what ingredients you have on hand.  This time I used acorn squash, asparagus, carrots and broccoli.  I also fried up some tofu and sprinkled the little cubes on top for some texture and protein.

5 - 6 cups broth - chicken or vegetable. 
3 carrots, peeled, cut into thirds and then quartered lengthwise (or about 12 baby carrots, cut lengthwise)
1 bunch of asparagus tips, about 4 inches long
1 - 1 1/2 cups broccoli florets
1 small acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced (or 1/2 tsp minced jar garlic)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup parmesan cheese
1 tsp dried thyme or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
Fresh ground pepper

DIRECTIONS for risotto:
*Bring broth to a boil in a saucepan.  Add carrots and cook 3 minutes. Add asparagus and broccoli and cook 1 minute more. Remove vegetables and reserve. Bring the broth down to a simmer.
*Heat oil in a wide pan.  Add onions, squash and garlic and cook until onions are softened - 3 - 5 minutes.
*Add rice to onion, squash and garlic and stir to coat.  Cook 2 - 3 minutes.
*Add wine and stir until mostly absorbed.
*Add broth, a ladle (or 1/2 cup) at a time, stirring between additions and waiting until most of the liquid is absorbed before each new addition of broth.  Continue this way until the rice is creamy and cooked through.
*Stir in the parmesan and thyme.
*Add the vegetables back in and stir to heat them through.
*Serve with tofu (recipe follows) and a generous sprinkle of fresh ground black pepper.

For Tofu:
*Squeeze the liquid from the tofu, season liberally with salt and pepper, and cut into cubes. (I cut the brick in thirds down the flat way - so you have three thin blocks - then cube those 4 x 6 each) 
*Heat oil in another wide pan and fry the tofu over medium heat until brown and crispy. 3 - 5 minutes. Flip the cues and cook on the other side until brown and crispy.  Remove from pan, reserve.  
*Toss a few on top of your risotto.  
*Use leftovers in a salad of spinach, craisins, walnuts and goat cheese for lunch the next day.

NOW.  When I have tried to reheat risotto, that creamy goodness becomes a gluey mess.  How, then, shall we eat our leftovers?  We fry them, of course!

Make a little risotto patty:

Dredge it in flour:

Fry it in olive oil over medium heat until it's golden brown.  Flip and do the same on the other side:

Enjoy as a side dish or for lunch.

Or, if you're me, fry an egg and have it for breakfast:


  1. This sounds luscious. In Italy, I believe, they take leftover risotto, form it into balls and hide a little cube of mozzarella in the middle. Then they roll them in flour and fry them up. YUM.

  2. Yummy! The girlie and I made quinoa pilaf tonight. Only I ate it. She had a salami sammich. Do your kids eat risotto?

  3. Yes, they do! We call it "cheesy rice". They both like all the veggies in this one. My son would eat an entire block of fried tofu all by himself if we let him.

  4. Very cool! I haven't made fried tofu in years and I bet my daughter would like it too. Maybe I'll do that this weekend...