Monday, February 27, 2012

Broccoli Romanesco Risotto with Shrimp

Have you ever found yourself walking through a store and all of a sudden you spot something so crazy and fabulous that you just have to buy it and bring it home? If you're like me, this happens to you all the time while shopping for clothes, shoes or yarn. My friend Kelly even knows that if she finds something that is 1. awesome 2. green and/or zebra striped and 3. less than $10, that she should just pick it up for me. If she doesn't she'll have to listen to me complain about my inability to find said object and how much I wish I had been shopping for her.
So the other day as I was wandering through the produce department, I found this most amazing vegetable, the little tag said "Romanseco broccoli," and happily it met all of my criteria for an impulse purchase. It was the most wonderful, shocking shade of lime green, so unbelievably cool looking I almost didn't want to eat it, and for $3.99, why not?
I brought this lovely head of half cauliflower/half broccoli home and contemplated what to do with it. Eat it raw? Meh, not good enough. Roast it like cauliflower with some curry? That wouldn't preserve the amazing color and shape well enough. Blanch and add to some other dish... Yes, that is exactly what I was going to do. Now, what to make that would play second violin to my beautiful cruciferous vegetable?
And then it hit me: what is more perfect that broccoli (or cauliflower) with cheese? Total midwestern comfort food, and this is going to class it up a bit. A cheesy and decadent risotto, featuring this crazy cool vegetable.
(Have you had enough of my Broccoli Romanesco glamour shots yet? Ok, fine, here's another of the finished product.)

  • 4 cups stock (chicken or vegetable)
  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 1/3 cup Parmigiano cheese
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 head broccoli romanesco, blanched
In a large pot, bring lightly salted water to a boil. Add the broccoli romanesco and cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on how small of pieces it has been cut into. Using a slotted spoon, transfer immediately to an ice water bath to stop the cooking.
Bring the stock to a simmer, so that you are only adding hot liquid to your risotto as it is cooking. In a large pot over medium heat, melt 1Tbsp butter and cook the onion until translucent. Add the second Tbsp of butter and the arborio rice and cook, stirring frequently (you don't want to brown the rice) for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook until it has been absorbed. Add the stock ~1 cup at a time, stirring constantly. Make sure that all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice before adding more to the pan, otherwise your risotto will be mushy, not creamy with slightly firm grains of rice.
When all the stock has been incorporated, stir in the heavy cream, parmesan cheese and blanched broccoli romanesco. Heat over medium-low heat until he cheese has melted and the vegetables are warmed through. Serve immediately.

Serve with:
  • 3/4 pound large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • olive oil
  • seasoned sea salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
Heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat, add garlic and shrimp. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika. Turn once, add more paprika to other side and continue cooking until done.

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