I made this.
I loved it.
I want to make it again.
This is rice, mixed with cheese and broccoli and a few other flavors that make the whole mess taste like broccoli-cheddar soup, preferably from Panera, with the addition of crunchy almonds to seal the deal.
I'm not joking.
You are going to LOVE this.
Here's what you need!
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup arborio rice
- ½ medium onion
- 2 ribs celery
- 2 cloves garlic
- salt and pepper
- 1 cup white wine
- 4-6 cups chicken stock and water (you pick the proportions; I like half and half to avoid the risotto becoming too salty)
- 1 small head broccoli (enough for 3 or so cups florets)
- 4 oz cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup almonds (whatever kind you like, don't obsess)
This is so easy. Just like risotto tends to be....you just keep the heat at a medium level so nothing boils too quickly and stir lots. That's the whole story!
First, bring a large pot filled with 4-ish inches of water to a boil. Add lots of salt to the water. 1 tablespoon or more. Cut the broccoli into small pieces - stems and all!
Then, dump the broccoli in the water.
Blanch the broccoli for 90 seconds until it just starts to turn bright green. Drain the broccoli, and save 2-3 bites of broccoli for topping later. The rest will go into the risotto.
While the broccoli is working, heat a separate pan to medium heat with 1 tablespoon of the butter. Note: You could easily use one pan for the broccoli and risotto, but I was hungry and wanted both things moving at the same time. Your call!
Chop the onion.
Then, cut the celery into thin strips....
And chop that too, into little bits.
Add the celery and onion to the butter with a little bit of salt and pepper.
Stir the veggies together for 2 minutes, and mince the garlic.
When the veggies have started to soften, add the garlic and stir that together for 1 minute.
Then add the rice! Stir THAT together to coat the rice in the butter. YUM.
Let the rice toast for 2 minutes, then add the wine to the pan. If it doesn't bubble right away, turn up the heat a little bit!
Let the wine cook away completely, then add 1 cup of chicken stock at a time and stir the risotto until all the liquid is absorbed. Then, repeat!
While the risotto is cooking, grate the cheese.....
....and chop the almonds.
After 25 - 35 minutes the risotto will be done. You'll know when you taste it and it doesn't stick to your teeth. Add as much salt and pepper as you'd like along the way!
Also, I feel like I should say this. This is a vegetarian dish. You can use vegetable stock and NEVER notice the difference. You can also add shredded chicken if you want to. I'm not in charge of you.
When the risotto is cooked, add the broccoli (minus the reserved portion), the remaining butter, half the almonds, and ⅔ of the cheese.
Stir THAT together, and rejoice.
Taste everything one more time, and then serve with your favorite toppings! I go with extra broccoli, cheese, and almonds along with a sprinkle of salt and a drizzle of olive oil.
Toppings are my life.
This is delicious people - done from start to finish in 45 minutes if you play your cards right, and is perfect for a weeknight or weekend or lunch or entertaining or party or....you get the gist.