Last night, on David’s Birthday Eve, we had this risotto. It’s a nice meal for a chilly fall day, when you still have piles of tomatoes tumbling off your counter. I realized, yesterday, that I’ve never had a risotto with beans in it. Which seems surprising, because rice and beans are so perfect together. I think of tomatoes, roasted reds, olives and white beans as being something of a classic combination. So I cooked it with arborio rice, and left it nice and warm and brothy.
Here’s Louis Armstrong with I Can’t Give You Anything But Love
1 cup arborio rice
6 – 8 cups vegetable broth, made with shallots, garlic, carrots, a handful of french lentils, a few mushrooms, a few lettuce leaves, a splash of tamari, a spoonful of marmite, and whatever else you have on hand.
2 T butter
1 shallot – minced
2 t rosemary
2 cloves garlic – minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup white beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup olives, pitted and chopped (I used kalamata)
4 ripe medium-sized tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 large red pepper, roasted, skins removed, seeds removed, chopped
salt and plenty of pepper
small handful fresh basil, chopped
1 T butter
In a large frying pan, melt the butter. When it’s bubbly, add the shallots, cook for a minute, then add the garlic and rosemary. Add the rice, stir to coat. When everything seems to be turning brown, after a few mintues, add the wine. Stir and cook until the wine is thick and syrupy. Add 1/2 – 1 cup broth. Stir and cook till it’s absorbed, add another 1/2 – 1 cup broth. and the pepper and olives. Stir and cook till the broth is absorbed. After about two more additions of broth, stir in the tomatoes, and cook till their juice is absorbed.
Keep adding broth and cooking till it’s absorbed until the rice is as cooked as you like it. 20 minutes to half an hour usually does it. At that point you can either add more broth, so it’s a bit soupy, which is how I like it, or let the broth cook off so you have more of a porrige-like consistency. Either way, season well, and stir in the butter, balsamic and basil. You could top this with grated parmesan or some other hard salty cheese, if you liked.