Here is a risotto that should prove that vegetarian dishes can be perfectly satisfying, even indulgent: a risotto made with vegetable broth, and flavored with a wonderful combination of bitter radicchio with the creamy savor of Saint-André cheese.
You proceed as for any risotto, beginning with a soffritto of chopped onion or, better yet, shallot sweated in butter (or butter and oil). Then add finely chopped radicchio (about ½ a head per person) and allow it to wilt and absorb the flavor of the onion and butter. Raise the heat, add your rice and allow it to lightly ‘toast’ until it becomes opaque (remember, the rice should not actually brown at all) then add a splash of dry white wine. When the wine has evaporated, proceed as usual, adding a ladleful of vegetarian broth at a time, until rice is almost cooked al dente. Just before the rice is done, add a good chunk of Saint-André cheese, together with a handful of grated parmesan cheese and, if you like, just a spoonful or so of cream. Mix vigorously until the cheese has entirely melted and amalgamated with the rice. Serve immediately.
NOTES: You could use, of course, a meat-based broth with this risotto, but this is actually one case where, in my book, vegetarian broth actually produces a superior result. With the richness of the added cheese, a meat based broth would produce a ‘heavy’ result—not that this dish will ever be light.
For tips on making risotto, including technique and choosing the right type of rice, see the post on the ABCs of Making Risotto.
Post-scriptum: Regular readers will have noticed fewer posts than usual lately on this blog. Unfortunately, yours truly has been ‘under the weather’ for the past few days. In the next couple of weeks, I will be traveling, so we will be experiencing a short break here at Memorie di Angelina, but we’ll be back just in time for the beginning of Spring, and a whole new gamut of lighter, brighter dishes for the new season!