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Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers

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For most of my adult life, I have not eaten risotto because of my cheese issue (basically, I don’t eat cheese) and always understood risotto to be made with cheese. But a coupla years ago while looking for recipes to use in my Cooking Wars class, I came across a recipe that mentioned that I did not have to use cheese if I did not want to.

It got me thinking and after a few more hours of research, I figured out what I needed to do. And seeing the wealth of ingredients that you could add to the risotto made me add this wonderful dish to my syllabus.

I made a version without cheese and I have been hooked. I usually don’t add much to the risotto just a few favored ingredients: sun dried tomatoes, peas and my fav – roasted red peppers. I tend to find peas are too bland and as much as I generally love them, I don’t add them to the risotto that often. I love the tangy-ness umami flavor of sun-dried tomatoes. You know that they are in the dish and just seems to work very well with the rest of the risotto flavor. Roasted red peppers have the smokey, sweetness that is hard to ignore.

The other thing about this version of risotto is that it is almost dairy free. If you eliminated the butter at the beginning and just used EVOO, it would be dairy free. While I do sometimes add cream as part of the finishing act, I generally don’t like cream dishes (other than chicken pot pie), I often skip this ingredient. Yes there is no doubt that eliminating the cream and the butter at the end will change the flavor some what, I personally like it and if you are trying to use less dairy in your dishes, this is a recipe to try for sure.

The other ingredient I use that I have not seen in many recipes (as in I’ve yet to see a recipe that included it) is garlic. I add finely grated garlic to the onion about 1 or 2 minutes before I add the rice. I believe it adds more flavor especially because I am not adding additional butter, cream or cheese.

Add butter and oil to the pot.

Add the onion to the butter mixture and cook until just translucent. Add a pinch or two of salt once the onion has softened.

Add the grated garlic and cook for 1 to 2 minutes.

Next add the rice.

Add a pinch of salt and cook for 1 to 2 minutes to toast the rice.

Next add about 1/4 cup of the chicken broth and cook stirring occasionally. Continue to add the chicken broth once the previous batch has been absorbed by the rice.

Once you have reached the right consistency and texture, remove from the stove. I added the roasted red peppers and mixed well.

All done. Honestly, every time I eat risotto, I am reminded why this is one of those to divine dishes and why people love it so much. Yum!!!

Check out the recipe below …

Print Recipe
Risotto with Roasted Red Peppers
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings
person
Ingredients
Instructions
  1. Place the butter and oil in a medium pot and melt.
  2. Add the onion to the pot once the butter has melted and cook on medium low heat, stirring frequently. Add two pinches of salt and continue to cook until the onion becomes translucent. Do not brown the onion.
  3. Add the grated garlic and continue to cook, stirring frequently for 2 to 3 minutes. The garlic will start to stick to the pot but continue to stir making sure to
  4. Once the onion has become translucent, add the rice and stir until all the rice granules are covered with the butter mixture.
  5. Meanwhile add the TJ's broth packs to a separate small pot and add boiling water. Stir and keep on the stove on low heat, to keep the broth hot.
  6. Once the rice has cooked for 1 to 2 minutes, add about a quarter cup chicken broth. Stir frequently, making sure to scrape the bottom, and let the broth be absorbed by the rice.
  7. When the first broth has cooked down, add the next quarter cup and continue to cook while stirring. When you have about half of the broth left, start to taste to see if you need to add any more salt as well as to see the doneness of the rice. You may not need to use all the broth. The perfect consistency is the rice being just a touch al dente in the middle. But my own personal preference may be a little too cooked for risotto experts, but it is perfect for me.
  8. Once you have reached that done consistency, remove from the stove and add the roasted red peppers. Mix well and serve right away. As you know, risotto is a dish that needs to be served right away and does not store well.
Recipe Notes

Of note, this recipe is for single serve.  I was craving this dish so much and I knew I wasn't going to eat it with anything else.  If you are adding protein and veggies, it may be a little large to be a single serving.  To make 2 servings, increase the rice to 1/2 cup and you may need to add about 1/4 cup of water to the chicken broth.

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