5.21.2010

Baked Risotto with Spinach and Pine Nuts

Because risotto is rather buttery and decadent, I limited myself to just a small serving of this indulgent dish. And I really wasn't left wanting more. The stock, parmesan, and butter made for a rich and flavorful combination, so a few luxurious bites was satisfying and perfect. I'm not one for a whole plate of risotto as an entrée - the thought alone overwhelms me. But as a side dish I'm all in.

Never having made it before, I was pleasantly surprised at how simple the preparation was. Baking risotto is as easy as combining the arborio rice with stock in a baking dish, covering it with foil and popping it in the oven for 35 to 40 minutes. Then a little butter and parmesan gets stirred in, as well as whatever else you are in the mood for - mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. Baby spinach and pine nuts were delightful, but for me they always are. I'm adding this to my "perfect for entertaining" list.

                    1 1/2 cups arborio rice
                    4 1/2 cups chicken stock
                    1 cup finely grated parmesan cheese
                    1 1/2 oz unsalted butter
                    sea salt and cracked black pepper
                    2 oz baby spinach leaves
                    1/3 cup pine nuts, toasted

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the rice and stock in an 8 1/2 x 12" baking dish. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Add the parmesan, butter, salt, pepper, spinach, and pine nuts and stir until the butter is melted. Serve immediately.

Makes four servings.


Adapted from Donna Hay.

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