When my brain is on overload (i.e. senior year stress) there are certain things which help me deal with said work load, things like making risotto. The repetitive process of stirring the rice, adding liquid, then stirring again is very comforting. For about thirty minutes, instead of thinking about the 1.9 million things I need to do, all I have to focus on is risotto. And let me tell you, in the middle of 3 essays, one seminar and other homework assignments, 30 minutes of risotto making is an extremely welcome break.
When we received our weekly basket of organic produce, I was struck with an idea, inspiration was bubbling inside of me: risotto + spinach = perfect Meatless Monday meal. I’m not sure that I have ever mentioned my love for spinach, but it’s a pretty deep relationship, and the best thing about it? It’s mutual, unlike chocolate and um… more chocolate, spinach is good for the body as well. And well, everyone knows risotto is my favourite, so this really is a no brainer.
Spinach Risotto (serves 4)
Recipe by Lou
1 cup Arborio rice
1 small onion, finely chopped or grated
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
3-4 cups warm water*
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1 bunch fresh spinach, 8-10 oz chopped
salt & (lots of) pepper to taste
* I used water instead of vegetable/chicken stock to keep sodium levels down. Feel free to substitute stock instead, although using water did not hinder the flavors.
In a pot over medium heat, bring water to a simmer.
In a large pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat, add the onion and saute until translucent (about 5 minutes). Next, add rice and stir until coated in oil.
Add wine to rice, and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed by the rice.
Next, begin adding the liquid in 1 cup additions. Stirring constantly until the water is absorbed. Once water is absorbed, make another addition of water, and repeat until the rice grains are creamy on the outside and somewhat tender on the inside. (3-4 cups worth of liquid.) This entire process should take between 15-18 minutes.
When rice is cooked, remove from heat. Add in spinach and Parmesan. Stirring to combine, spinach should wilt from the heat of the rice. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I find a lot of pepper adds a nice touch to this dish.
Have a great Meatless Monday everyone.