Among the things (not all of them edible) that I brought back from Italy, there is a package of riso Carnaroli integrale (whole-grain Carnaroli rice) purchased at the farmers' market in Milan. The rice is grown in a farm (azienda agricola) not far from the city. The label describes the product as non trattato, which I interpret as meaning that no chemicals were used in growing it. The farm can be visited, and this is something I would like to do the next time I am in the area.
In the meantime, I used the riso integrale to make risotto. My plan was to use some pomodorini ciliegia (cherry tomatoes) and some of the salvia (sage) from my herb garden to season the risotto. I grow several kinds of sage and the one I used this time is the pineapple one, whose smell I love. When I got back home, some of the branches displayed pretty red flowers, which make hummingbirds very happy.
- 2 1/2 cups / 600 ml vegetable broth, possibly homemade
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup / 4 tablespoons minced onion
- 5-6 leaves of pineapple sage, slivered (see Note below)
- 4 oz. / 113 g cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered (depending on their size)
- 1 cup / 200 g whole-grain Carnaroli rice
- 2 tablespoons / 30 ml white wine, not cold
- 1/2 cup / 120 ml water
- 1/4 cup of myzithra or ricotta salata, grated
- Sea salt, to taste
Note: The quantity of sage depends not only on your taste, but also on the intensity of flavor of the kind you use and on the size of its leaves. The leaves of my pineapple sage are fairly large.
Soak the rice for 5-6 hours.
Bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a small saucepan and maintain it at that temperature.
In the meantime, in a larger pan, warm up the olive oil, then add the onion and sage. Cook on low until the onion is translucent, then add the cherry tomatoes.
After 3-4 minutes, add the rice, drained, and cook for 1-2 minutes.
Add the white wine and stir. Let the wine evaporate, while stirring the rice, then start adding the simmering broth, a ladleful at a time, and letting the rice absorb it.
Keep the risotto at a nice simmer and stir it at regular intervals. Make sure it never gets dry.
When you pour the last ladleful of broth, bring to simmer the water and add it as needed until the rice is cooked (35 minutes in my case, consistent with the information on the label, which says 30-35 minutes). The texture will be different from risotto made with regular Carnaroli rice, a bit chewy, instead of creamy: take that into account when tasting it.
Remove the pan from the heat, add the cheese of choice, adjust the salt, stir, then let the risotto rest, covered, for a few minutes while you gather the guests around the table.
Serve and enjoy!
This is my submission for the (drumroll, please) third anniversary of Weekend Herb Blogging. My heartfelt congratulations to the creator of this popular blogging event, Kalyn of Kalyn's Kitchen. And many thanks as well, for being such an exceptional organizer. Here is the roundup of WHB #156.