Crunchy Walnut Risotto

This was my first time attempting to make risotto and I am sold. I loved the process. I loved the texture. I loved the taste. I my friends, am going to be a risotto making queen!

I picked up a random box of Arborio rice at the same market that I scored the Garlic Gold from. I had purchased a vegetarian cookbook for a whopping $2.99 on the clearance shelf at TJ Maxx and it had an entire section devoted to risotto. I could not wait to dive in.

Do you see all of those sticky notes? Why yes… this was a complete cookbook score! I honestly think I’m a vegetarian at heart. I’ve probably only gone about 6 months without eating meat – but if I knew what I do now… then… yes, I probably would have stuck with it.

Anyway… back to the recipe.

The Ingredients:
1 Tablespoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2.5 oz. Butter – had to break out the scale for that
1 Small Onion – finely chopped
1.5 Cups Arborio Rice
40 Fluid Ounces (5 cups) Simmering Vegetable Stock – I only had a 32 ounce box, so I had to mix up 8 more ounces from some veggie bouillon I had in the pantry.
4 oz. (1 cup) Walnut Halves
3 oz. (3/4 cups) Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese
2 oz. (1/4 cup) Mascarpone Cheese
2 oz. Gorgonzola Cheese – I used crumbles

Heat the oil with 2 tablespoons of the butter in a deep pan over medium heat until the butter has melted.

Add the onion and cook – stirring occasionally, for 5-7 minutes, or until soft and starting to turn golden. Do not cook until browned.

Action shot – Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil and butter. This reminded me of making Rice-a-Roni as a kid. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.

Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time.

Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition.

Just keep stirring in the liquid…

Special Instructions: Wear a hideous pajama and croc outfit to be comfortable during the 35 plus minutes of constant standing and stirring. 😉

What? Chefs totally wear leopard print – Raawrrr!

At some point the rice will no longer absorb the liquid – this is when you turn the heat up to medium so that the liquid really starts bubbling.  Cook for 20 minutes (with the lid off), or until all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy in texture. Stir every few minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Mine took the full 20 minutes).

Melt 2 tablespoons of the remaining butter in a skillet over medium heat.

Add the walnuts and toss for 2-3 minutes, or until just starting to brown.

Get your cheeses prepared and ready to add. Remove the risotto from the heat and add the remaining butter. Mix well, then stir in the Parmesan, Mascarpone, and Gorgonzola until they melt.

Cheesy goodness awaits! The last step is to stir in most of the walnuts – leaving a few for garnish – I also used some gorgonzola crumbles to garnish – serve piping hot!

This risotto was worth every single minute of stirring. I can’t believe I waited this long to try cooking it.

The photo in the book was not as orange – but the organic veggie stock I used is bright orange in color. Depending on what stock you use, yours might come out more of a creamy white to yellow in color. No worries, I’m sure the taste will measure up.

You all know I am a huge macaroni and cheese fan – this was an amazing aternative. The combination of cheese and buttery walnuts – OMG… so sinfully good! Totally low cal too, ha!

Watcha cookin’ next Mom? – Had to throw in a Higgy photo – he looked so cute on his bed with his favorite little bear.

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    • Aim on November 16, 2010 at 11:07 am

    I think I would really like this. I heart Gorgonzola…. I just have to take the time to make it. These days I’m eating quick meals such as salads with gorgonzola and walnuts, lol….. can’t wait to try this…thanks for sharing Kath 😉

    I heart Higgy

    • Pod on November 16, 2010 at 11:15 am

    So Foo….what are you contributing for the Thanksgiving Feast?? Got any receipe’s for ToFu Turkey?? Just kidding, I envy your adventurseome attitude with the new foods you are cooking. Love ‘ya.

    • Kim on November 16, 2010 at 11:28 am

    Sounds delicious! We love risotto as well, and Alan has become quite good at making it. Coincidentally, he made a fabulous fennel and sausage version last night. I brought left overs for lunch. Yum!

    • sizzle on November 16, 2010 at 11:29 am

    I have never made risotto but have wanted to. This looks scrumptious.

  1. i have a box of risotto in my pantry too since my fabulous risotta cake meal at a restaurant back in January!!!

    i may just have to try it here soon!

    • dubu on November 16, 2010 at 12:40 pm

    I LUV, LUV, Risotto!!!! I actually thought I was the Risotto Queen…but hey I can share the crown. I can’t wait to try this one out…my mouth is watering just thinking about it. I have a new risotto recipe from the wine country that we sampled a couple of weeks ago…I’ll share it with you.
    Luv the pj bottoms…they match my snuggie 🙂

  2. YUM.
    I’m not even hungry, at all – but that looks so delicious! Definite future attempt for me! Thank you!
    (Uh, but no more exclamation points for me. Sorry.)

    • Kristen on November 17, 2010 at 4:57 pm

    OMG! That looks sinfully delicious! How can you go wrong with all of those cheeses. Big hugs to Higgy from Aunt Kristen! I need to come visit soon… 🙂

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