I stumbled across this recipe on the Whole Foods website while I searched for cooking methods for short-grain brown rice. Accidentally, at Costco, David bought us 12 pounds of short-grain brown rice. I make baked brown rice with long-grain brown rice all the time, but I wasn’t 100% sure that the same receipe would work for short grain rice. I was trying to sort out whether I need more water or what, and instead, I learned that you can make risotto with short-grain brown rice. Makes sense, after all, since traditional risotto is made with short-grain rice.
I decided to make risotto instead of sorting out how to/whether to adjust my regular brown rice recipe. Mostly, I pushed that problem off for another day, but in the meantime, I got to eat risotto. I also got to use up a zucchini we had sitting on the counter from the farmer’s market.
I made a number of changes from the initial recipe, skipping the veggies I don’t care for (most of them!) and lightening up on the cheese, butter, and oil (we’re trying to eat a bit healthier around here). I also used Vegetable Stock instead of Vegetable broth as the original recipe called for, for a richer flavor. It worked. The risotto was delicious. It’s only problem was that it was still a bit on the al dente side. One key difference between white rice risotto and brown rice risotto: the brown rice takes longer!
Veggie & Parmesan Brown Rice Risotto
Adapted from the Whole Foods website; Serves 6 as a main dish, more like 12 as a side.
- 1 quart vegetable stock
- 5 cups water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup finely chopped shallots
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 cups uncooked short-grain brown rice
- 2 carrots, trimmed and chopped
- 1/2 cup (1.5 ounces by weight) grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 tablespoon butter or margarine
- Sea salt and pepper to taste
Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Cover broth-water mixture and reduce heat to low.
Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring gently, until toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth-water mixture and cook, stirring constantly and adjusting heat if needed to maintain a simmer, until liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat process, adding about 1/2 cup of the broth-water mixture each time, until rice is just beginning to get tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and continue process with broth-water mixture. When rice is just al dente and carrots are just tender, add zucchini and cook 5 minutes more. (If broth mixture gets low, add water as needed.)
Add cheese, butter/margarine, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add about 1/2 cup more of the broth-water mixture to finished risotto before serving, if you like.
Note: I thought this was very tasty. I expected to have to pick out the zucchini–David likes it, not me, but was pleasantly surprised. It just all kind of melded together and tasted great. I don’t think this needed more cheese at all, even though I basically halved what the recipe called for. The only thing I could’ve done was cook it longer, but we were impatient and hungry! For just us, I’d definitely half this recipe next time. We had tons of leftovers.
P.S. Sorry for the terrible picture. My camera wasn’t charged, and I couldn’t find the charger, so I had to make do with my iPhone. But a poor picture is better than no picture, right?