Risotto Relay: Baked Risotto

October 20, 2007 at 10:07 am | Posted in events, savory things | 11 Comments

baked risotto

How do you make risotto without all that standing over a pot and stirring?  You cheat and bake it in the oven!  Baked risotto is a technique I have read about in a few places, and I thought I would give it a shot for the Risotto Relay being held by Sathya and Liz, authors of the lovely blog The Baker & The Curry Maker.

All the recipes I’ve seen follow a very similar process.  Cook the onions on the stovetop first, add in rice and liquid and bring to a simmer.  Then chuck in your other ingredients and pop it in the oven at 400°F/200°C for about half an hour.  I went ahead and riffed on a recipe for baked risotto with zucchini, tomato and parmesan from superstar Sydney chef Bill Granger, whose food I love.  It is in his book bills food.

I obviously made a few additions to recipe I provide below.  I sauteed a clove of minced garlic along with the onions.  A splash of white wine went into the pot at the same time as the stock and chopped tomatoes.  And finally, halfway though the oven-baking process, I stirred in some raw, peeled and de-veined shrimp.  I know that seafood and cheese breaks the rules (so does baking your risotto, really), but I used the parmesan in the recipe anyway.

baked risotto

OK, I admit that this is doesn’t really give you that creamy starchiness that a traditional risotto has, but I will definitely make it again.  If you are feeling a little lazy, it is a perfectly delicious and acceptable substitute for the real thing, and it is so versatile.  Next time, I think I’ll try it with chicken and mushrooms…maybe I’ll add a little extra liquid partway through the cooking process and stir in a pat of butter when it’s done to see if I get a creamier end result.

Baked Risotto with Zucchini, Tomato and Parmesan– makes 4 servings
from bills food by Bill Granger

2 T extra virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 t sea salt
1 cup arborio rice
1 1/2 cups chicken stock or water
14 oz can chopped Roma (plum) tomatoes
3 small zucchini, finely sliced
2 1/4 oz freshly grated Parmesan
freshly ground black pepper
2 T finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
shavings of Parmesan, for serving (optional)

-Preheat the oven to 400°F/200°C. Heat a 3-quart/3-litre capacity ovenproof dish (with a lid) over a medium heat.

-Add the olive oil, onion and sea salt and stir for 5 minutes, or until the onion is soft and translucent.

-Add the rice to the dish and stir for another minute. Add the stock or water and the chopped tomatoes and bring to simmering point. Stir in the zucchini and sprinkle with Parmesan and black pepper.

-Cover the dish and bake the risotto for 30 minutes, or until the rice is cooked. Scatter parsley over the top, sprinkle with Parmesan shavings if desired, and serve in the dish.



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  1. It looks pretty good but sounds a lot like paella to me, at least in technique.

  2. Interesting… I’ve never heard of baking risotto. I’ll have to try it sometime to see if the time you save is worth it. To be honest, though, I don’t mind all the stirring… I find it very zen.

  3. That looks gorgeous and from a fellow Stop the Traffik contest enterer, I just want to say CONGRATULATIONS! Your recipe was gorgeous. I appreciate anything that takes days and days to make.

  4. Sarah C- Looks a little paella like with the seafood, too, doesn’t it? I’ll make it again and add some additional liquid to see if I can get it a bit creamier next time…

    Becky- I don’t really mind the stirring either, but I was very curious to see what this technique would produce since I’ve seen it in a couple things now (Donna Hay did something on it as well).

    Sue- Thanks so much! I’m so surprised and really excited!!

  5. Looks yummy..hmmm gonna try it out:)

  6. Steph, the first pic with the text looks like the cover of a food magazine 🙂

  7. It looks fabulous! And wouldnt it go just lovely with Tim Tams for dessert!! *Grin*

  8. This looks delicious—and an easy alternative to stirring at the stove. I always wondered if the taste was any different, I figured it might be since baked risotto hasn’t made the other method obsolete. I will definitely try this one on a week night though! 🙂

  9. I use a pressure cooker to cut down the time but I start and finish the traditional way.

  10. I love this idea. I am all about baking over stand and stir…Thanks! 🙂

  11. Oh it’s beautiful – and a great weeknight alternative

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