Friday, November 15, 2013
Although any white wine should work in this recipe, I chose an off-dry, late-harvest Pinot Grigio for its hints of raisin and honey notes to serve as a subtly sweet counterpoint to the assertive, somewhat "resinous" flavor of the rosemary, which I did not want to overwhelm the palate. Whatever type of white wine you choose, just make sure it's something you enjoy drinking. If you eschew alcohol altogether, simply substitute more stock for the wine (I suspect the final dish will taste more savory or robust if you do not use wine).
And while you could use store-bought stock, I recommend using homemade chicken or poultry stock, or homemade vegetable stock, for best flavor.
1 cup arborio rice
1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
3 to 4 cups stock: chicken, poultry or vegetable
1/2 cup white wine
1 1/2 Tbs coarsely chopped fresh rosemary
1/4 tsp ground pepper
Salt to taste
Grated or shredded parmesan cheese to taste
Optional garnish: Fresh rosemary sprigs
Heat the oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When butter has melted, stir in the rice and saute until lightly golden. Pour in 1 cup of stock and the wine, stir, and bring to a boil while stirring occasionally. Reduce heat to a simmer and when almost all of the liquid has been absorbed, begin adding additional stock a half-cup at a time as follows: After each addition, bring back to a simmer and cook, stirring regularly, until almost all of the stock has been absorbed, then add another half-cup and repeat. The goal is to cook, adding stock as needed, until the rice is creamy yet al dente (slightly firm, not mushy). This can take anywhere from 20 minutes to 30 or more minutes, and you might only need to add a total of 2 cups of stock or up to 3.
Once the rice appears to be almost done, stir in the rosemary, ground pepper and some parmesan cheese (as much as you like). Keep stirring until cheese has melted, taste for balance, and add salt if desired. Serves 2 to 4, and garnish with a couple of sprigs of fresh rosemary if desired.