things i *intended* to do this past monday: roast spaghetti squash at 460° F for one recipe and bake bread at 375° F for another.
things i *actually* did this past monday: research ranges (i never call them that but apparently that’s the real name for “stove/oven combos”…) on consumer reports to figure out which one to go buy when it became clear that our second hand range which was previously disinclined to be set above 350° F was now just flat out NOT. HAVING. IT.
so. yeah. something things don’t go exactly as planned. i’m super grateful that we could just go buy a new one, rather than reconfigure our baking plans for the indefinite future to avoid recipes that called for temperatures above 350° F. i’m also grateful he “broke*” during the labor day weekend sales. and yes, we probably could have fixed this one, but for a number of reasons, that option just didn’t make sense in this case. so, now we wait, and plan recipes that don’t need to go above 350° F.
(*of course, the following day, i circled back to the squash and bread dough, intending to just give it a go at 350° F but the little up arrow button happily went right up to 460° F. whatever. it’s still the right decision. and i got a new recipe idea out of the bread that didn’t really appreciate the extra 20 hours of rising time, even in the fridge. so, there is a bright side. and it looks a lot like bread pudding.)
luckily i had already made this broccoli and sun-dried tomato baked risotto, as he too requires a temperature above 350° F. 425° F, to be exact. that gets the broccoli all nice and crispy and browned and then cooks the risotto without stirring to the point that you wonder if anyone has ever *actually* lost an arm while stirring risotto.
i realize it’s not a purist method, but this broccoli and sun-dried tomato baked risotto is delicious and i’m way more likely to make baked risotto than stovetop/stir for days risotto. and i think even purists would agree that risotto on your dinner plate is better than a pile of ingredients in the cabinet/fridge, mocking your (my) lack of ambition (really, it’s the inability to multitask that makes me twitchy with stovetop risotto. i know, there’s no such thing. i’m working on accepting that. until i do though, baked risotto.).
plus, you could easily take the broccoli and sun-dried tomato and modify this back to more traditional cooking methods. so i think we can all find something to enjoy here. and hey, if i’m taken with a craving to make this broccoli and sun-dried tomato baked risotto before our new oven arrives, it’s the stovetop for me! (orrrr crossing my fingers and seeing how the up arrow button is feeling that day.)
- 4 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 large (16 oz. / 454 g.) head of broccoli, finely diced
- 4 large cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
- ½ cup (2 oz. / 57 g.) diced sun-dried tomatoes
- 1 cup (7 oz. / 198 g.) arborio rice
- ½ cup (4 fl. oz. / 118 ml) white wine
- 3 ½ cups (28 fl. oz. / 828 ml) low sodium chicken/veggie broth (gluten free if needed)
- 1/3 cup (1 ½ oz. / 45 g.) pecorino romano (or parmesan)
- juice of half a lemon
- 2 precooked garlic chicken sausages, sliced into coins and sautéed until warm, optional
- preheat the oven to 425° F.
- combine the broccoli with 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and spread out on a rimmed baking sheet. roast for about 20 minutes, stirring halfway through, until the broccoli stems are tender and the tips of the florets are starting to crisp and brown. remove from the oven and set aside. if necessary, move the oven rack down so that a large dutch oven (or oven safe deep casserole dish) will fit with its lid on.
- meanwhile, in the dutch oven or large soup pot, heat the remaining 2 teaspoons of oil over medium heat. once hot, add the onion. sauté for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is nearly translucent. add the garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 – 3 minutes, until the garlic is softened.
- add the rice and stir constantly for two minutes. add the white wine and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then once the wine is nearly all absorbed, add the broth (all of it). stir and bring to a boil over high heat. once boiling, stir again, put the lid on the pot, and transfer the pot to the oven (if your pot is not oven safe, very carefully transfer the contents to a large, deep casserole dish).
- bake for 20 – 22 minutes, until the grains of rice are tender. the liquid should also be absorbed by this point (if not, leave the lid off and cook it for a few more minutes; it will also absorb liquid as it sits after it comes out of the oven so a bit of extra liquid is fine).
- add the cheese and lemon juice (and cooked sausage, if desired) and stir to combine. serve immediately. leftovers keep and reheat well for several days (broccoli starts to smell like sulphur within 1 day but the risotto is still fine to eat for 2 – 3 more days and does NOT taste like it smells.)
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