comfort food

Well, it’s snowing like crazy outside, and I’m glad I’m warm and dry and didn’t have to go outside at all today. I’ve done quite a bit of work, so I’m feeling pretty accomplished about my day, too. All in all – good times.

I’m just settling in to do some knitting and churn out a front of L&L, so in lieu of knitting photos, how about food? I made this spinach and goat cheese risotto on the fly the other day, and it turned out really good. Mmmm, I wish I still had leftovers!

risotto with spinach and goat cheese

Risotto with Spinach and Goat Cheese

2 tbsp butter, divided
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped (you can see I don’t chop mine especially fine; I love onions)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
Approximately 4 cups hot vegetable stock (1 vegetable stock cube + hot water, or fresh/boxed vegetable stock)
1 package frozen chopped spinach or a couple cups chopped fresh spinach
Approximately 60 g soft unripened goat cheese, or to taste, crumbled
salt and pepper

Heat 1 tbsp butter plus olive oil in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Sweat onion until soft, about six to eight minutes. Add garlic and cook an additional minute until fragrant. Add rice, stirring to coat the grains with oil and butter, and toast for 1 minute.

Add 1/4 cup hot vegetable stock and cook, stirring, until stock is absorbed. Continue adding stock in 1/2 cup amounts and stirring until absorbed, adding spinach to pot about fifteen minutes into cooking (I just threw in chunks of frozen spinach). Continue cooking risotto, adding more stock as necessary, until rice is tender, about 18-20 minutes. Add a little extra stock if you like your risotto pretty loose (I do) and turn off the heat.

Add 1 tbsp reserved butter and crumbled goat cheese to pot, stirring through until everything’s melted. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately with a tomato salad – mmm!

Serves a lot, probably 4-6 main course servings.






25 responses to “comfort food”

  1. LynnH Avatar

    Thanks. I’m sick in bed recovering from an awful flu, and this sounds good. I can eat everything but the garlic and the cheese, totally adjustable. Was wondering what I might do with that homemade stock I thawed last night, now I have a very good idea.


  2. Claire Avatar

    oooooo, That looks fab! I’ll make it when I get back from Vegas. Sorry the weather is so blah, just more knitting time.

  3. Amy Avatar

    That looks great. I’ll have to try it. I winged a white bean soup this evening and it was very tasty so I’ll try to post the recipe on my blog tomorrow.

  4. Debbie Avatar

    This looks so good! Thanks for the recipe!

  5. rachel Avatar

    I just had a big plate of risotto with artichoke hearts and red bell peppers, but this recipe is totally making my mouth water.

  6. Jodie Avatar

    We just got a bag of risotto rice at the grocery store on Sunday! Perfect timing!

  7. Typesetter Avatar

    If you want to make your risotto in an easier way, make it the traditional way. Start out by toasting the rice for longer. it’s hard to say “how” long in cronometrical time: keep toasting it until the grains turn translucent and start emitting a sort of hiss or whistle, in Italian we say that the rice must “sing”. This should take 3-5 minutes. This done, add (if you like it) 1/2 a glass (for 3-4 people) of wine and stir once. Let the wine evaporate until the smell changes to sweeter, milder and much less winey, then add the stock all at once, so that the rice is completely covered in stock. Stir just once and allow the rice to cook, or rather simmer. This way you will not ned to stir, except once every few minutes. The coating accumulated by the rice with the prolonged toasting creates a slight parboiling effect, that allows it to cook much more evenly without sticking, especially if you avoid stirring often. You may have to add a little more stock by the end of the cooking time, the theory says that the stock ought to be added all at once, but I honestly do it in 2 batches. Once the rice is done and “wavy” (all’onda), add butter and cheese (Parmigiano Reggiano or another cheese of your choice) and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes to loosen the rice’s starch and create the creamy texture.
    Risotto ought to be had with a fork, but in Milano it used to be traditionally eaten with the spoon just like you do: now only the older people use the spon, but in doing so you connect with an ancient tradition.

  8. Typesetter Avatar

    Forgot: no garlic in risotto. Garlic is just not used in Milanese cooking, except for a specific type pof meatballs called “mundeghilli”, prepared with leftover cooked meats, bread and spiced with parsley and some garlic (about one minced clove for 6-8 large meatballs) ^___^

  9. Kim U Avatar

    Hey, thanks for this recipe! I saw it right before I headed home last night and it was perfect for a chilly night. Very tasty.

  10. Elana Avatar

    Yum!! This looks delicious!

  11. ck Avatar

    That looks fantastic! Thanks for sharing.

  12. Julie Avatar

    Ooh, looks like a great recipe- spinach is one of my all-time favourite veggies. Thanks for sharing!

  13. connie Avatar

    Mmmm. I love risotto! My husband and I are lazy though…we just cook up some Riso Bello (Riso Gallo in Italy with a rooster on the box). It’s an all-in-the-box risotto, but it’s the best thing ever! Not like american boxed meals at all.

  14. seedless grape Avatar

    How did the leftovers heat up for you (if you had any, that is)? I am always reluctant to make risotto because the leftovers I’ve had always end up being quite . . . gloppy, for lack of a better word. So I’m curious how your leftovers fetched up–the recipe definitely looks delicious!

  15. Sherlda Avatar

    Your risotto looked soo delicious that I made a copy of the recipe and will be making some for dinner tomorrow. Thanks

  16. duni Avatar

    i made this last night and it was indeed fabulous! it’s now in the regular rotation for the household. thanks so much!

  17. Typesetter Avatar

    seedless grape: leftover risotto can be lovely, you just don’t have to expect it to be like freshly made risotto. There are two ways to heat up risotto without it turning into a mush.

    For the first and more complicate one you will need quite a good amount of leftover risotto. Stir in the rice an egg (or maybe just the white if the rice isn’t _that_ much) and some finely grated stale bread (don’t use store-bought breadcrumbs: for this you will need a crisp bread, well-dried in the oven and made without fats!), stir well, then wet your hands and form “riceballs” the size of a smallish egg (use as much rice as there is in a heaped spoon, not a measuring spon, a regular spoon from the kitchen drawer) that you will roll in one more egg (or maybe the yolk of the one egg you needed) and in some more grated bread and fry in light (from the flavor point of view) olive oil. Consider also sticking a piece of mozzarella into each ball. Eat immediately off the pan. This is a variation of a roman classic: supplì; adding the rice you get “supplì al telefono” (phone supplì), since the mozzarella’s strands look like a phone cord.

    The second way is much simpler and very milanese. Smear a nonstick pan with just enough butter to barely coat it. Grab the leftover risotto: I usually keep mine in a bowl, so that it already has a nice dome shape; press it in place in the pan, that should be large enough to hold it precisely, making sure that’ the rice layer is even and no thicker than an inch. I usually finish off the shape with the lid of the pan. Place everything on a very hot fire and let the rice caramelize and get nice, golden and crisp. From time to time, give the pan a good shake. You may serve it immediately, or turn it around and (adding a bit of butter more, just a tiny chickpea-sized bit) kook int also on th other side for extra crispness. Serve immedately, lightly sprinkled with some more Parmigiano Reggiano if you like it.

  18. Jennifer Avatar

    Oo yum! I just made risotto last night (mushroom) but will have to try this variation.

  19. Karen Avatar

    I made this to go with our Valentine’s dinnner last night and it was awesome! It was my first time making risotto. Thank you.

  20. robin Avatar

    Hi Laura,
    just wanted to let you know that I love your Button Your Raglan pattern that is today’s feature on the SNB page a day calendar! I will be adding this one to my queue (along with your other patterns that I’ve purchased but not gotten to yet.)

  21. Katja Avatar

    Thanks, I’ll definitely try this recipe at home. I’ve got the worst flu, this might cheer me up a little bit (and my kids looooove risotto, their favourite is one with mushrooms). DH needs to go and get me some goat cheese :)

  22. Sally Avatar

    Thank you so much for writing out this recipe. I can’t wait to make it!

  23. ceels Avatar


    Thanks for the inspiration, I have just had this for dinner tonight.

  24. Anthony StClair Avatar

    This was awesome! We used more cheese (about twice as much) and beef stock instead of vegetable stock. Really, really good recipe, and very quick and easy too!

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