Caramelized Onion Risotto

by Rebekahcooked up on February 19, 2015

Man. Today has been one of those days. I had all these plans! And yet, some of them didn’t happen. But most of them did. I think.

I got some major projects done at work – a win! I spilled salad dressing on my favorite leather bag… not a win. I made it to my haircut ON TIME and without having to reschedule it – win! But it took me almost an hour to get there because TriMet was so messed up today… not a win. I think that I can tip the scale in favor of winning, though. Because when I got home, the carnitas that Dave and I put in the crock pot this morning smelled pretty much like heaven, and they tasted that way too. That recipe will definitely appear on this blog at a later date, as soon as I recover from this food coma.

It’s Lent once again, and that means that many of us are reaching for fun meatless recipes to enjoy at home on Friday nights. And in the case of this week, we’ve got two meatless nights planned. Aside from observing something important, I think that it’s a nice exercise to stretch one’s meatless wings.

Caramelized Onion Risotto | PDXfoodlove

We don’t eat a lot of meat in this house, but it is frequently present in small amounts, for example, in the form of chopped bacon or charcuterie. So it does take a little thinking to make something excellent, but also meatless.

Caramelized Onion Risotto | PDXfoodlove

Risotto is always a go-to this time of year, though. It’s easy to make it great *and* vegetarian. This recipe is adapted from the New York Times, and I really loved the way the caramelized onion imparted sweet oniony flavor to the entire place of rice.

Here’s what you need:
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small-medium yellow onion, cut into thin slices
1 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. granulated sugar
2 more Tbsp. unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
3 cloves garlic
1 leek, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
Parmesan, salt and freshly ground black pepper to top

In a Dutch oven, melt the butter and then stir in the onion slices, kosher salt and sugar. Cook on medium-high, stirring occasionally, until the onions are dark brown and caramelized.

Add in the second round of butter, the rice, garlic and leek. Stir constantly, cooking until the rice becomes a little transparent. Deglaze with the wine (dump the wine in and use a wooden spoon to gently rub the stickies off the bottom of the pan. Add one cup of broth and bring to a simmer.

When most of the liquid is absorbed, add yet another cup of broth and bring back to a simmer. Keep incorporating broth cup by cup until the rice is tender. This may take more or less broth depending on the humidity. You can use some water in the mix, but I do not recommend using only water.

When the rice is al dente, shave about 1/3 cup of freshly grated Parmesan over the risotto and stir until melted. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve.

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