March 30, 2011

Baked Spinach and Pea Risotto

Let me start by saying that I am a risotto purist. I have been incredibly skeptical of recipes that claim you can bake risotto and it will turn out the same as if you stood at the stove stirring and gradually adding broth for 20 minutes. So, I decided that it was time I stopped judging and actually try a baked risotto recipe.

Real Simple's April 2011 issue just happened to have a recipe for Baked Spinach and Pea Risotto, which fits nicely into my current self-imposed mandate to eat more vegetables and use recipes from my food magazines (see here).

The verdict? It was fine. It tasted like how I expect risotto to taste because the flavor of the arborio rice still came through, but the texture was kind of like glue. Or that paste you use in kindergarten that inevitably some boy ends up eating. Now, I did overcook the risotto - the recipe says to bake for 20-25 minutes and I meant to check it at 20 minutes, but got sidetracked, so when I pulled it out at 24 minutes, it was overdone. The rice most certainly did not have that al dente crunch that I like. But, on the positive side, it was nice to pop the pot into the oven and sit down and read the paper. And I guess it is a way for me to use up my arborio rice (see here and here for my obsession with vialone nano rice). I may be tempted to try it again with the intention of not overcooking it, but we'll see.

Has anyone had success with baked risotto?

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