Risotto-making is supposed to be a tedious process involving biceps, stirring, and great patience—or at least, that's what I've always heard. Yet my own experience hasn't been nearly so fraught; over time, I've learned to relax, add stock in larger quantities, and stir only when I feel like it. So far, my risottos haven't suffered.
Lately, I've gotten a little ambitious using higher heat to speed things up, and I've found that if you stir constantly, you can cook faster without losing creaminess. This risotto, for example, took just a little over half an hour start-to-finish—so here it is on Dinner Tonight. The recipe is from Jamie Oliver's Cook with Jamie; its rich green color comes from puréed spinach, which is cooked down with nutmeg and garlic. Lemon juice and goat cheese offers a creamy tang to keep it nimble on the palate.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 tablespoon butter
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- nutmeg, for grating
- 5 oz spinach, washed and dried
- 2 handfuls Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 lemon
- 4 oz soft goat cheese
In a heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil and 1 tablespoon butter over gentle heat until the butter melts. Add the onion and a clove of garlic and cook gentle until soft and sweet but not browned, 10 minutes.
In the meantime, melt a tablespoon of butter in a saucepan with a splash of olive oil, a good grating of nutmeg, and the second clove of garlic. When the butter has melted, add the spinach and cook until wilted down and intense, about 5 minutes. Allow to cool and puree in a food processor or chop by hand.
Add the rice to the onion and raise the heat to medium-high; toast, stirring constantly, until the rice begins to look translucent. Add the wine, stirring, until absorbed, then ladle in some stock. Continue adding stock to the rice little-by-little, stirring continually, until the rice loses any chalkiness and tastes smooth. Salt as necessary.
Turn off the heat and add the remaining butter, Parmesan, and the spinach mixture. Stir to incorporate well. Serve with a little goat cheese crumbled on top.