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Hubby has been working like a dog these past couple of weeks. We have a big project in the works that is taking up a lot of time and brain-space, and he’s also had to work his butt off at his (relatively) new and exciting job.

So today I thought I’d make him one of his favorites for dinner to cheer him up a bit: sun-dried tomato risotto. However, I’m not a huge fan of sun-dried tomatoes on their own, and I feel like we haven’t been good kids and eating our veggies lately.

Since I’m a huge fan of spinach, and leafy greens are good for the brain (I think… Ha! Get it?), I decided to add some spinach.

Hubby came home late, scarfed down a huge plate of Red and Green Risotto, and went: “Mhm, that was alright. A little too much spinach, though.”

No good deed goes unpunished.

I, for one, thought the risotto was awesome, and so I’m sharing the recipe. I hope you like spinach!

Red and Green Risotto

1 onion

2 cloves garlic (I used the ones from the sun-dried tomato-jar)

2 tbsp olive oil (I used the one from the sun-dried tomato-jar)

1 tbsp butter

1 cup sun-dried tomatoes

1 heaping cup risotto rice (Arborio)

2/3 cup wine (I used a red bubbly, white wine is the more traditional choice)

4 cups vegetable broth, low sodium

2 tsp Italian herbs

1 tsp nutmeg, grated

2 cups leafy spinach (frozen or fresh)

2/3 cup cheese (preferably parmesan), grated

 

If your spinach is frozen, take it out of the freezer a couple of hours before you plan on making this dish, in order to let it de-frost. If you’re using fresh spinach simply wash it and eyeball the amount – it should make a cup once it’s wilted. Please don’t ask me how much fresh spinach to use, exactly. I promise to tell you right away if I ever find out, though!

Now, the basic technique with risotto is always the same:

Dice onion, garlic, and tomatoes.

Heat oil and butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, cook for about 5 minutes until onions are translucent or slightly caramelized (I prefer the latter).

Add rice and the ingredient you want the risotto to taste of – in this case: sun-dried tomatoes. Give it a stir to coat the rice with oil and cook for about 1 minute.

 The spinach, however, is added at the very end because I didn’t want to over-cook it and also preserve some of its lovely green color.

Splash the wine in there and let the rice soak it up.

Now add broth, 1 cup at a time, and wait for the liquid to almost disappear into the rice before adding the next cup.

Never let the rice dry out completely, stir regularly, but not permanently – just enough to keep the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot.

Add the herbs and nutmeg about half way through the cooking time so they get a chance to impart their flavors into the dish.

After about 3 1/2 cups of broth your risotto should be al dente, i. e. tender but with a little bite to it.

Add the spinach and let it warm up in the risotto. Right before serving, stir the cheese into the dish and let it melt.

Yum!

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