servings: 4-6

Risotto is slow cooked Arborio rice, a very popular Italian dish that is featured on many menus in restaurants all over the world. The starch in the rice releases during cooking and makes a naturally creamy rich dish. It does take a while to prepare, so if you have time and patience and want to bring the restaurant experience to your kitchen, try out this delicious risotto. The risotto is great served with pan seared fish.

1 cup basil divided (½ cup basil chopped +1/4 cup basil chopped)
2 ½ cups frozen peas (divided into 2 + ½ cup)
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon of oil
1 shallot
1 clove garlic
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup of room temperature white wine
3-4 cups vegetable stock
½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

  1. Place 3/4 cup chopped basil and 2 cups peas in boiling water for three minutes, strain. Place mixture in a bowl and add a tablespoon of butter, sprinkle with salt and pepper and puree with immersion blender (or a regular blender), set aside.
  2. Place stock in a pot and bring to a simmer. Keep stock hot during the entire cooking process.
  3. As vegetable stock is simmering, melt butter and oil in a large sauté pan and sauté shallot and garlic until shallots are translucent.
  4. Add rice, stir rice with butter and onion for about five to seven minutes until rice absorbs butter and rice becomes translucent.
  5. Add wine, bring to a simmer and let the wine cook out, constantly stirring rice mixture.
  6. Add 1 cup of stock and simmer on low, constantly stirring rice mixture, until liquid is absorbed.
  7. Add 1 cup more stock and simmer until liquid is absorbed. Continue to stir the mixture.
  8. Add last cup of stock and simmer until all liquid is absorbed.
  9. Taste rice. Add salt to taste. If rice is too al dente, add a bit more stock as necessary and simmer until all liquid is absorbed.
  10. Once rice is fully cooked, gently stir the basil-pea puree with risotto and mix until combined.
  11. Add parmesan cheese, ½ cup reserved peas and 1/4 cup chopped basil to the risotto and serve immediately.

Recipe submitted by: Shifra Klein, editor in chief of Joy of Kosher Magazine.
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