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Food!

Everett True
The other day I made a roasted shallot risotto, which was dead simple and extremely nice (TISIAS).

This was for a moderate-sized for two, so adjust accordingly. Peel about 200g of shallots. Halve or quarter any larger ones – basically you don't want any of the pieces to be bigger than a cm or so in any dimension. Put them in a roasting dish with a good slug of olive oil – enough to cover them liberally and still slosh around the bottom a bit. The roasting dish should be of a size that they're in one layer but not too spaced-out. Grind salt and pepper over them, add a few drops of balsamic vinegar, and mix. Put in a 160C oven (fan-assisted – I guess 180 if not?) for 10 mins, shake and mix, then 10 mins more. When done, the larger bits should be very soft, the smaller bits somewhat crispy.

In the meantime, melt 30g or so of butter, get it gently foaming, and add 150g of risotto rice. Stir it around in the butter for a few minutes until transparent round the edge. (Don't let the butter go brown.) Add a litre of veg stock – a spoonful at a time if you're a purist, or all at once if you're lazy like me. You could also add a pinch of saffron at this point if you like it and have some; likewise a chunk of parmesan rind. Put the lid on and let it cook down to your preferred risotto texture, stirring frequently.

Mix the shallots into the risotto (including any delicious oil that's clinging to the bottom of the roasting dish) and serve with a mix of undressed salad leaves – preferably including some sharpish stuff like sorrel and wild mustard, and maybe some basil and oregano leaves too.

Peeling the shallots is the only fiddly bit, but really this ends up good enough to dish up to anyone.

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Comments

( 9 comments — Leave a comment )
metame
24th Aug, 2011 09:55 (UTC)
Sounds yummy.

I shall particularly steal the idea of using up parmesan rind by cooking it into risotto...
undyingking
24th Aug, 2011 10:59 (UTC)
Mm, I picked that up off a half-Italian friend. (They call it the heel.) Also good to bung it in a pot of soup.

And you can always freeze it inbetween, if you have a rind and no immediately foreseeable need for such.
booksforfood
24th Aug, 2011 10:48 (UTC)
Yum. We made a porcini mushroom and thyme oven baked risotto dish the other day and it worked quite well. Lasted two people for two meals, too! Might give this one a try next time.
undyingking
24th Aug, 2011 16:28 (UTC)
Mm, porcini and thyme is a magic combination!
bateleur
24th Aug, 2011 15:13 (UTC)
Sounds great! Couple of quick techy questions:

* Roasting chopped shallots for 20m seems weird to me. I'm inclined to just shallow fry them. Is there some reason why I shouldn't?

* Is the butter part of your default risotto process or specific to this recipe? I'd normally use olive oil there. Is there some reason why I shouldn't?
undyingking
24th Aug, 2011 16:38 (UTC)
(a) I feel that the flavour of shallots (or garlic) develops better from being slowly roasted at a lowish temp vs frying, but it's just a tste preference thing really. The fried version should work just as well in practical terms.

(b) I often do use olive oil instead, but (thinking about it) I suppose I tend to reach for the butter if it's a plainish risotto where there isn't any veg being cooked in with it. Not sure why that would be: probably just the way I first learnt how.
bateleur
24th Aug, 2011 16:43 (UTC)
Re: (a) - Different flavour is a very good reason!
onebyone
2nd Sep, 2011 10:06 (UTC)
"enough to cover them liberally and still slosh around the bottom a bit" - I think I would describe this as "coat them liberally", not wanting to be held responsible for any explosions.
undyingking
2nd Sep, 2011 12:18 (UTC)
Mm, you have a good point there!
( 9 comments — Leave a comment )

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