1.22.2014

Basil Risotto


The other night, my parents, boyfriend and I went to dinner at a local restaurant. It is a rather pricey place, but we had a gift certificate from Christmas. After looking through the menu, I decided on swordfish over basil risotto. It was fantastic!! This meal inspired me to go home and try making basil risotto myself. I like to experiment with risotto because there are so many different flavors and ingredients you could add to it. So far, this one has to be my fave!

I served the basil risotto under salmon (and Kevin had cajun fried flounder with his - he hates salmon!). For the salmon, I seasoned it with salt, pepper and Simply Asia Sesame ginger garlic blend (link attached). It was pan seared in a deep stainless steel pan with a couple tbs of olive oil. Did about 3 minutes on each side until it was crispy and browned.


Servings: 4-6
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:
2 oz fresh Basil leaves (lightly fills 1 cup)
1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, peeled
1 tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
2 tbs salted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
3/4 cup white wine
1 1/2 cup Arborio Rice
6 cups Chicken broth (I always use low sodium due to my boyfriend's heart issue)
Salt and pepper, to taste
* Optional * Save a few small basil leaves for garnish


Directions:

1. In a medium sauce pan, heat chicken broth to a boil then lower to a simmer. Continue to heat on very low.

2. In a food processor, chop basil, garlic, 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil, lemon juice and Parmesan cheese. Place mixture aside for later.

3. In a large saute pan, heat oil and butter. On medium-high heat saute shallots for 2 minutes until translucent. Add rice and stir for additional 2 minutes. Add white wine and mix until absorbed.

4. Adding 1 cup of chicken broth at a time to the rice, stir constantly until each cup is absorbed (about 30 minutes -- *video below). After the last cup of broth is absorbed into the rice, add basil mixture and stir well. If risotto is too thick, add a bit more broth from the fridge. Season with salt and pepper if needed.

*Stirring is time consuming. Patience is always the best part of making risotto - the end result is always worth it! (don't mind my screaming parrots in the background!)


5. Place a layer of risotto on dinner plate, and top with your choice of fish, chicken, etc. Garnish with a couple of small basil leaves.




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