Wednesday, October 21, 2009

A Carnival in Your Mouth

I love risotto.

Seriously. It is such a great go-to meal. It can be impressive or casual. You can dress it up or dress it down. It can be a long involved process or it can be easy-peasy. I appreciate it's versatility and affordability!

Last night I had a hankering for my favorite grain but I was unimpressed with the usual recipes I had been using. Spicy Turkey Sausage and Spinach? Done that. Pumpkin? Done that too. Shrimp and Pea? Over it.

So I hopped on and hunted around until I found a risotto recipe that caught my fancy.

Cauliflower? Interesting.
Almonds? Love!
Brie? Yes please.

And so it was settled:
Cauliflower Risotto with Brie and Almonds was to be our dinner!

I headed over to Russo's to pick up the ingredients and made the untimely mistake of going between noon and 1PM.

Now, Russo's is divinity on earth. Heaps of fresh and delicious and hard to find produce that rivals if not exceeds Whole Paycheck but at half the cost. A to die for cheese section. A delectable bakery. Nothing about this place can be beat....unless you go during the lunch hour and then the heaps of produce and sumptuous cheeses are obscured by masses of people clamoring to get their lunch or squeeze in their shopping on a lunch break.

I don't begrudge them. I mean, I am doing the same thing but I normally go later in the afternoon to avoid the rush and not end up clutching my scallions to my chest hyperventilating as swarms of people clamor for the last Jerusalem Artichoke.

In any case since it was so crowded I stuck to the edges of the store to work my way around. It was there that I found the cauliflower and noted there were two kinds. The regular white kind and a funky PURPLE kind.


As the old adage goes, when faced with buying something regular or something freaky it is always wise to choose the freakier option. And I thought the purple would be more visually appealing in the risotto anyway!

Once I was home later that night I followed the recipe to a tee. I simmered broth and water and fresh thyme. I crisped up the cauliflower with olive oil and more fresh thyme. And I made extra sure not to overcook the rice (something I am smashing at!).

The result? Delicious, gooey risotto swarming with brie and studded with crispy cauliflower and toasty almonds.

So. Freaking. Good. Even Adam, who and I quote "doesn't really care for cauliflower" loved it. So if you are in the market for a new risotto recipe to try out. I highly recommend this one.

Print the recipe here


J said...

That looks so good! Shane hates cauliflower but maybe if I get the purple kind I can trick him :)

I've recently started going to Russo's and love it. It's on my way to and from work and I make excuses to stop on my way home way too often! Wilson's (in Lexington) will always be #1 in my book but Russo's is a very close #2.

Sarah said...

haha yes! tell him it's purple broccoli :-)

I have never been to Wilson's but if it's BETTER than Russo's next time I am in that area I will definitely check it uot!

Amy Lamare said...

OK what if you're allergic to/hate cauliflower? I love love love the sound of brie/almond risotto but do you think it would need another texture in it to replace the cauliflower?

Sarah said...

I think the dish would be good without the cauliflower but better if you do have some kind of crisp veg to balance out the super creaminess of the risotto. Maybe some crisp tender broccoli?

Maxie said...

That sounds amazing-- I've never had risotto even though I've seen it on Hell's Kitchen about a billion times. I will definitely have to try this recipe.