Monday, June 4, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Risotto

Oh risotto, how you have captured my heart.  Now that I've tried my hand at a few, I am truly addicted.  Despite the cook time, risotto's adaptability to different flavor combinations keeps me coming back.  And roasted red pepper?  Yes please!

adapted from Bev's recipe at

should serve 4

The Ingredients:
2 medium red bell peppers
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium white onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 Tbsp butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

The Process:
Pre-heat the broiler.   Place the peppers on a rimmed baking sheet and broil the peppers until the skin is charred and blackened all over, turning the peppers as you go, about 12-15 minutes.
Remove the peppers from oven and place them into a sealable plastic bag. Seal and let the peppers steam  for 10 to 15 minutes. When cool enough to handle, carefully peel off the skins and remove the seeds and stem. Puree in a food processor or blender until smooth.
In a medium sauce pan, heat the chicken stock to a gentle simmer.  Keep warm.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil.  Add the onions and saute over medium high heat until the onions are tender and translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add the rice and stir to coat evenly.

Slowly pour in the white wine.  Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer, stirring continuously.  Once the wine has been absorbed, add the warm stock, one ladle full at a time, allowing each addition to be fully absorbed before adding the next.  Patience is key.  Stir gently and continuously. 

After the last ladle of stock has been absorbed, at the rice is creamy in texture and slightly al dente, add the Parmesan cheese. Stir in the pureed pepper sauce and allow to simmer until the risotto has thickened.  Season with salt and pepper to taste. Remove the risotto from the heat..  Cover and let rest for 3-5 minutes before serving. 

The Review:

Risotto: Labor or love.  But or so worth it every time.  Two red peppers yielded almost 1 cup of puree after a whirl in the blender.  As a result the risotto was a little soupy right after adding the red pepper.  A little more time on the stove to  allow the liquid to absorb into the rice helped.  As did a few minutes that the risotto was allowed to rest off of the heat.  

Oh, but the flavor...sweet, rich, deep.  Such a beautiful orang-ish red hue.  So many variations to try, and yet this may turn into the go-to recipe for a special dish.

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