As the isolation wears on, we are doing our best to enjoy mealtimes — it serves as a way to frame the day and gives us a chance to gather in a normal ritual during these extremely abnormal times.
Risotto is a dish that seems to fit well in the current situation. It is adaptable to a variety of mainly shelf-stable ingredients, it is rather time-consuming to cook, so it provides an activity, and it hits the perfect note between comfort and special.
Before hell broke loose, we traveled to Spain and were given a lovely jar of truffle salt by our hostess. I also had some truffle oil squirreled away in the pantry, and these items provided the perfect finish to this dish.
If you don’t have truffle salt or oil, fear not, you can finish with any flaky salt, and drizzle with any flavored oil, a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil or top with nothing at all. If you prefer not to cook with wine, just use 4 cups broth, or substitute a cup of water for the wine.
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
3 cups vegetable broth
1 cup dry white wine
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped and divided
⅔ cup Parmesan cheese
Scant teaspoon truffle salt
1 tablespoon truffle oil
- Bring the broth and wine to a boil in a medium saucepan. Lower the heat and keep the liquid to a simmer.
- Heat the oil over medium high in a larger saucepan. Add the onion, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir until the onion softens, about 5 minutes.
- Add the rice and stir to coat. When the rice is glossy, add 1 cup of hot broth and stir constantly until it is absorbed.
- When the broth is absorbed, add another cup. When the second cup is absorbed, add ½ cup broth. Repeat, adding in ½ cup amounts, until all the broth is gone and the rice is creamy and cooked to al dente, approximately 30 minutes. If the rice is not fully cooked, heat additional broth or water and add in ¼ cup amounts until the rice is done. Add half of the fresh parsley and stir, allowing it to cook slightly, about 1 minute.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and stir to blend.
- Place the mixture in a serving dish, drizzle it with truffle oil, sprinkle it with truffle salt and garnish it with the remaining fresh parsley.
- Serve immediately with additional cheese, if desired.