i risotto puns easily!
Plenty More is one of the seven (yes, seven!) beloved Ottolenghi cookbooks that grace my kitchen. This one is vegetable-centric with a lot of fantastic recipes. I was reading it recently for inspiration and realized I had everything to make this dish, in particular, some homemade stock languishing in my fridge. I supposed I could have stuck it in the freezer, but this recipe popped up from the recesses of my mind.
This dish is warm, cozy, and indulgent, but also sneaks in a pound of vegetables. The lemon zest cooked with the rice, and also added at the end, adds a brightness that is needed to cut through the rice and cheese.
In typical form, I made some tweaks. I used basil instead of fresh tarragon, but parsley, chives, or fennel fronds would also work nicely. I went all-in with Parmesan, but Ottlogenhi’s recipe also uses gorgonzola cheese (I am not a fan, but if you are, you can go half and half with the cheeses).
I also forwent frying the brussels sprouts quarters. The first (and only) time I tried to fry them, I made a terrible mess. Rather than destroying my kitchen, I roast the Brussels at a super high heat, which results in crispy Brussels sprouts without the greasy aftermath.
If you have a partner (like me) who doesn’t think its a meal if there isn’t “animal protein”, you can serve this with a simple roast chicken or grilled steak. But otherwise, this is plenty hardy and can be served alone for a delicious, winter meal.
2 tbsp of butter
3 tbsp of olive oil
2 small white onions, diced
3 garlic cloves, smashed
1 lb of Brussels sprouts, divided, ½ lb shaved and ½ lb quartered
3 tbsp fresh thyme
Strips of zest from 1 lemon
Grated zest from 1 lemon
1 ½ cups of arborio rice
2 cups of white wine
4 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
100 grams of Parmesan cheese (or 50 grams of Parmesan, 50 grams of gorgonzola)
½ cup of tightly packed fresh basil, parsley, chives or fennel fronds
Salt and pepper
Place a Dutch oven or other large heavy bottom pan over medium-high heat. Add the 2 tbsp butter and 2 tbsp of olive oil, and once shimmering, add the diced onion. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently until the onion is slightly caramelized.
Add the lemon strips, thyme, and garlic, cook for two minutes more.
Add the rice and shaved brussels sprouts and cook for 1 minute.
Add the two cups of wine, ½ tsp of salt, and a good grind of black pepper. Simmer the wine for about 5 minutes, and then start adding the stock, one ladle at a time.
Once the liquid is absorbed, keep adding more stock and stirring frequently, until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is fully cooked, yet still somewhat firm to the bite. If you prefer a softer, soupier risotto, simply add an extra one-half to one cup of broth (or water).
While the risotto is cooking, preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Lightly coat the quartered Brussels sprouts with olive oil in a small bowl, then spread out on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 – 10 minutes, keeping an eye on the sprouts so they don’t burn. You want them darkly brown, but not black! Once they are nice and crispy, pull them from the oven and set them aside.
To finish the dish: Add lemon zest, parmesan cheese, chopped basil, and ½ of the crispy Brussel sprouts to the risotto. Top the dish with the remaining Brussels sprouts and serve with extra Parmesan.