Do you ever have one of those days where by the time you get home from work you’re so tired of thinking that the idea of cooking dinner seems like a form od cruel and unusual punishment? (Please tell me it isn’t just me!) I’ve been having a lot of those lately, which is why there was a full week between the time I bought the ingredients to make this farro risotto with roasted mushrooms to the time that I actually made it.
Of course, once I did make it, I regretted waiting so long. The recipe is so simple and requires almost no thought at all. And those roast mushrooms… have you ever had roast mushrooms? They might just be the things that dreams are made of. The flavor gets concentrated in the oven, making them super earthy and woodsy. They add so much flavor to the risotto that you hardly need to add anything else at all! (Of course there isn’t much that can’t be improved by topping it with a poached egg!)
The man who works in the parking garage near my office was in a particularly bad mood this morning. I can’t say that I blamed him. Saturday’s warm sun had gone away, and cold rain settled in. The air was heavy and damp and everything looked gloomy. As he watched person after person head into their toasty warm offices filled with friendly colleagues, he was stuck sitting alone in his little booth (that is, until he had to come out in the rain to deal with my permit issues). On top of all that, it was Monday. I wished that had some of this hearty sausage and kale risotto to share with him – with it’s stick-to-your-ribs warmth, it would have been sure to cheer him up. I could have used some myself.
This recipe is part of my new Cooking for One series. On the first Sunday/Monday of each month, I’ll post a simple yet satisfying meal that is perfectly portioned for people cooking for themselves.
Risotto is Shawn’s favorite, but I cook it for myself from time to time as well. It may seem like a fussy dish, but if you use a pan with plenty of surface area, a single-sized portion cools up in no time.
The last few weeks have been cold and damp, and I’ve been craving comfort food. I came up with this recipe one rainy night when I hadn’t been to the grocery store and didn’t feel like leaving the house..Luckily, I know that as long as I have risotto rice in the cabinet, a satisfying meal is never far away!
If you’ve hung out around this blog for a while, you know that risotto is a staple in our house. You might even says it’s my thing. In fact, when I was asked to bring a gift that represented my blog to the Foodbuzz Festival I brought a risotto kit.
So when Marx Foods was looking for people to test and review four different kinds of risotto rice, I jumped on the opportunity. I almost always use arborio rice, both because its easy to find and affordable and because its what I know, but I was super excited to try out the rice that Marx Foods sent me: Vialone Nano, Organic Arborio, Organic Integrale (a brown rice), and Organic Carnaroli. Shawn and I did a blind tasting and ended up ranking the rice the exact same way as each other — and the results surprised us!
First, the ground rules: In order to keep the results as unbiased as possible, I identified each rice only by the pan that I cooked it in; I didn’t know which was which until the end. I prepared them all at the same time (quite the task!) using a simple recipe that would let the flavor of the rice itself shine through — just the rice, some onion, white wine, and chicken stock. I kept detailed notes as I cooked and tasted and rated each rice on appearance, creaminess, smell, and taste. When Shawn came home from work, he tasted each and ranked his favorites (again, he didn’t know which was which. He also didn’t know that I used the same recipe for each version of the risotto.)