The apricots in this risotto turn from sweet to elegantly savory with the slow addition of vegetable broth. The whole process of making risotto is pretty repetitive (add liquid, stir, add liquid, stir) so I have included some exciting photos of my newly acquired Frigidaire Flair Oven, c. 1960. ( I know, shameless bragging)
We found it desperately needing a new home on Craigslist, and just couldn’t resist the urge to drive almost two hours and pick it up (during a crazy wind/rain storm). Luckily, since it weighed 325 pounds, we were told that we could just open up the patio door and wheel the oven out through the backyard. We would also avoid a bunch of stairs this way… thank goodness.
The backyard was nice and flat. It was also atop the steepest hill in Ohio, and we needed to get it into the truck that was parked all the way at the bottom. That was a lot of fun. But, after we heaved it into my hubby’s old truck and strapped it down, we were home free.
Although, once we got it home, my husband had to install a 220 volt outlet where our gas range once stood. That took about three days. And, apparently the attic in our house is a pretty horrible place to be crawling around.
This was all completely my idea. I was smitten, what can I say?
The oven is an absolute dream come true, and I can’t wait to give her a proper coat of pale cerulean blue paint… which would coordinate well with practically everything in my life.
Okay, back to the risotto:
- 1 cup short grained rice, either Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/2 cup dried apricots, chopped
- 1/3 cup Pinot Grigio, or other white wine, warmed to slightly above room temperature
- 2-3 cups vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup Olive oil
- 1/3 cup almond milk (warmed slightly above room temp)
- black pepper
- 1 heaping tbsp Earth Balance margarine
Okay, so the gist of risotto is easy. You fry the rice, then add white wine until it’s all absorbed. Then, you add a little bit of liquid and stir until it is almost all absorbed-just enough to prevent the rice from drying up. You keep adding liquid in small amounts until the rice is fully cooked, stirring as you go.
I needed to wrap my head around this before I first tried making risotto. Here are the more specific directions:
In large saucepan (or other deep pan), saute onions and apricot in the olive oil over medium heat, just until onions turn translucent. Add a dash or two of black pepper. Once they are finished cooking, remove the onions and apricot from the pan and place on separate plate, but leave the oil. This is easiest to achieve with a slotted spoon.
Keeping the temperature around medium heat, add rice to the left-over oil and fry for about 7 minutes, or until the rice is golden brown. Add wine and stir. Reduce heat slightly and let cook until all wine is evaporated/absorbed. Add the onions and apricots back into the pan with the rice and add a little bit of vegetable broth. You just need enough to cover the rice, maybe 1/2 cup to start with. ( I like to have my broth measured out in a separate jar so I can focus on pouring it straight from the jar rather than measuring as I pour)
Let rice simmer in broth over medium heat until almost all of the liquid has been absorbed. Be sure to stir often to prevent rice from sticking.
Add a little more broth and cook until there is just a little liquid left to be absorbed. Keep repeating this process. It should take about twenty minutes until the rice is softened up and you have used about 2 cups of broth. If you find that you are running out of liquid too fast, you probably should reduce your heat and add less liquid at each interval. Make sure you keep stirring, often enough to keep the rice from burning.
Also, since rice differs, and so do people’s preferences, feel free to keep adding more broth and cooking if you find your rice to be too firm after just 2 cups of broth. For this recipe, I added closer to 3 cups of liquid, including the almond milk at the end.
Once all of the broth is used up and it has been about twenty minutes, add the almond milk. Continue cooking until most of the liquid has been absorbed. It should look very creamy at this point, and the texture of the rice should be just about to your liking. Add the heaping tablespoon of Earth Balance.
Cover with tight fitting lid, turn off heat, and let rest for about 10 minutes. Salt to taste and stir.
And now…the oven!
Isn’t this clock incredible? Note the swanky font above all the knobs too.
The drawer handle in the middle pulls out to reveal a four burner electric range. Complete with a kinda scary “speed heat” burner that definitely heats up very quickly.
Won’t it look pretty with a new coat of paint, and a nice black and white checkered floor to match? ;)