Three Cheese & Spinach Risotto

Risotto is something I’ve always been afraid to try. It’s one of those dishes that conjures thoughts of a sore wrist or Gordon Ramsay calling you a donkey. Tonight I bit the bullet and decided to give it a shot. Guess what? It’s easy and worth every stir.

The most important thing to remember when making risotto is to keep stirring, and add your liquid slowly. Don’t rush. Seriously. Is that broth fully absorbed? If it’s not, don’t move on. If you follow these simple rules you will have a decadent side that will win over anyone.

1 tablespoon butter
4 cloves garlic, minced – this is up to you, we really like garlic
2 cups chicken broth, plus some extra broth or water – I’ll explain
1 cup arborio rice – this is important! Don’t use regular long grain rice!
1/2 – 1 cup shredded Italian cheese blend, or Parmesan
1 small box or bag of spinach – a few handfuls or as much as you want

Start by melting the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. I used nonstick which made things easy. Once melted ass the garlic and stir until fragrant, about a minute. Add the rice and stir to combine it with the butter and garlic.

Begin adding the chicken broth 3/4 cups at a time. Stir so that all the rice grains are able to absorb the liquid. Keep stirring. You can allow the rice to simmer a bit but watch the heat to be sure it’s not going into a boil. Once the liquid is fully absorbed, add in more broth and repeat the process. Below is a picture of the rice being almost ready for more liquid. It’s not there yet though, since you can see a puddle at the top.

While you’re stirring and adding liquid and stirring some more, you will likely run out of broth. The total cook time will take from 20 – 25 minutes, or more depending on your situation. You want to keep adding liquid until the rice grains are fluffy. Taste as you go to determine when the mouth feel is right for you. I switched to water because I was concerned about the risotto being too salty. I needed probably another cup of water after the broth was gone.

Once your grains are fluffy and the smell is making you want to dive right in, add the shredded cheese and stir. You’ll have a beautiful gooey mess just waiting to be devoured. Serve immediately for best compliments.

As you’ll notice in the pic above, I added spinach to my risotto. I plopped it in before the cheese, just before the grains were fully absorbed. You can add any leafy green, mushrooms, anything that will cook quickly in the risotto. This paired perfectly with a lemon pepper salmon filet, and will become a huge star in my rotation.

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