I have to admit, I am pretty excited about our post today. In the 1 year + that we have been blogging many ideas have popped into my head. Some good, some bad. Some work, most don’t. There have been many, many fails. But occasionally I do get an idea that actually works. Thank God, I think Cliff would kill me if we had to admit to another fail. I must say I am pretty proud of myself for this one. There are many things we have made in the past year that we just love. Then we forget about them and never make them again. This is not one of those recipes. This is something that I will make over and over again. For me risotto is the ultimate comfort food. Well, risotto and macaroni and cheese. And this recipe is kind of a combination of the two.
Growing up, broccoli rice casserole was a staple at family gatherings. Actually, it still is. It is something that I have thought about putting on the blog before. However I just can’t bring myself to post something with ingredients like a jar of Velveeta cheese and canned mushrooms. Again, I was worried I would lose all street cred with those kinds of ingredients. Instead of scraping it altogether I decided to update the ol’ broccoli rice casserole. Instead of using minute rice I used Arborio rice. Instead of canned mushrooms I used fresh. Instead of a jar of Velveeta cheese I made my own cheese sauce. And you know what? It wasn’t even much more difficult to make.
This risotto tastes just like the casserole I grew up eating, only better. It is more vegetable and less rice. And I used fresh ingredients. I also prefer not to call it casserole. Many times casseroles are absolute nightmares. You just never know what is in them! If you are looking for a great dish to make for Easter or to bring to a potluck I hope you give this a try. Feel free to change up the vegetables if broccoli and mushrooms aren’t your thing. Asparagus, peppers, zucchini… there is no limit to the possible combinations!
4 tablespoons olive oil, separated
1 pound broccoli florets, cut into bite sized pieces
½ pound baby bella mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ shallot, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
6 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup milk
2 cups cheddar cheese, shredded
Sauté 2 tablespoons olive oil, broccoli, and mushrooms over medium heat for about 5-6 minutes. Set aside. In a large saucepan sauté the remaining olive oil, garlic, and shallot over medium heat until fragrant. Add the Arborio rice and coat with oil. Begin adding the chicken broth ½ a cup at a time, letting the liquid absorb each time. Stir almost constantly. After you have added 5 cups of chicken broth taste the risotto and if it is still too al dente continue to add the chicken broth. Once the risotto is cooked, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat. In a small sauce pan melt 2 tablespoons of butter. To the melted butter add the flour and whisk until smooth. Add the milk and whisk until smooth again. Allow the mixture to thicken and add the cheese. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat. Add the broccoli and mushrooms and cheese sauce to the risotto. Mix well. Serve immediately.
Source: A Live Love Pasta Original