Let me be real with you – I’ve never been the biggest risotto fan. Not that I don’t love eating it, but I’ve always had such trouble making it. It seems like I can never get the risotto rice to just the right texture, or it takes four days to get it close and by then I’m starved and the dreaded hangry symptoms have set in.
That was until I discovered this oven risotto recipe from Bon Appetit magazine. The sheer fact that it is done in under an hour and requires so little attention than most risotto recipes had me intrigued enough to try it. Then there was the kale pesto with toasted walnuts and chives that sealed the deal.
If that wasn’t enough, then I poached a couple of eggs to put on top, along with some chopped walnuts and Parmesan cheese. What happened was magical and one of my most favorite things I’ve ever cooked – I really can’t believe this once-hating-risotto-maker is now totally in love.
You start this recipe on the stove with an ovenproof pan. I used a cast iron skillet for no other reason than I wanted to, and it worked out great. Once you get your risotto going with some wine and onion and it’s first batch of hot liquid, you then throw it into a oven.
No stirring, no additional liquid – just let it bake for 15-20 minutes. And you get perfect risotto! It should be a little toothy out of the oven because you’re going to do one more hot liquid addition, but that’s it.
Perfect risotto with an incredible kale pesto. You could easily add some grilled shrimp or chicken to the top to make this an entree, but the poached egg was so elegant and the yolk really made such a creamy, decadent bite.
It was so good we ate it two days in a row!
½ cup walnuts, roughly chopped, divided
4 tablespoon olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
salt and pepper, to taste
1 garlic clove
1 cup fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 cups roughly chopped Tuscan kale leaves, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
4 ounces finely grated Parmesan cheese, divided
4 eggs, poached
Preheat oven to 35o degrees F.
Toasted walnuts on rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, for 8-10 minutes. Let cool.
In large, ovenproof skillet heat 2 tablespoons olive oil.
Add onions and cook, stirring often, until just softened and translucent, about 5-8 minutes.
Stir in rice and season with salt and pepper.
Cook, stirring occasionally, until some grains are translucent. About 5 minutes.
Add wine and bring to a simmer. Cook until the pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes.
Add 2 cups very hot water, season again with salt and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
Bake in oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but trice is still starchy in the middle, 15-18 minutes.
The rice should not be completely done.
While the rice is cooking, pulse garlic and half of the toasted walnuts in a food processor. Pulse until mixture is very finely ground.
Add parsley, chives, half of the kale, remaining two tablespoons of olive oil and ¼ cup cold water.
Process until smooth. Add ¼ cup Parmesan cheese and season with salt and pepper. Pulse one final time.
Remove saucepan from oven and return to medium heat on the stovetop. Add ¾ cup very hot water and cook rice, stirring often, until rice is tender but still has some bite, about 3 minutes.
Stir in pesto, butter and one half of the remaining Parmesan cheese. Add remaining kale and stir, adding more water to if needed.
Season with salt and pepper.
Serve topped with remaining walnuts, Parmesan cheese and a poached egg.