Risotto is such an easy last minute dinner that can be prepared with just about everything. Keeping your pantry stocked with Vegetable stock, dried mushrooms and Arborio rice, you are all set! Oh, always some white wine for cooking is a must.
ROMANESCO also know as roman cauliflower is milder, nuttier and sweeter than broccoli and cauliflower. It can be served raw or roasted. In this recipe I used a mandolin to slice it thin. The florets took on such a beautiful shape this way. Preparing it this way complements a salad served raw on top or use to enhance a charcuterie platter. What is lovely about using the mandolin to cook the thin slices is they take on a different texture and cook very quickly.
Risotto with Mushrooms & Romanesco
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups of simmering vegetable stock (or chicken stock)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup white wine
2 cups sliced ROMANESCO – slicing it with a mandolin is so perfect
1/2 cup dried shiitake mushrooms – soak in hot water (save the liquid)
1 cup assorted fresh mushrooms – sliced
1 cup fresh spinach
3 garlic cloves – minced
1/4 cup chopped parsley
Bring stock to a simmer and cover.
Sauté mushrooms in a skillet until soft and tender.
Add in the garlic and spinach sauté a few minutes, set aside.
In a saucepan, add in the rice and stir dry a few minutes under low heat. Slowly add in stock one cup at a time. Continue adding another 3 cups once the liquid is absorbed.
Before you add in the last cup of stock, gently mix in the ROMANESCO.
Slowly stir in last cup of stock.
Finish with the wine and mushroom mixture. Gently blend altogether.
Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally, add in 1/2 cup parmesan, reserving the other 1/2 to garnish each dish with.
Turn off heat and blend in the cheese.
Serve on a dinner plate or in a pasta bowl. Garnish each with parmesan and chopped parsley.
I also like finish it off with a sprinkle of red chili pepper flakes.