The February issue of Gourmet has a recipe for risotto which claims to only take 15 minutes to cook the rice. I was rather stunned when I first read the recipe. Risotto is not what comes to mind when I think of quick or easy dishes. Usually it involves careful stirring and monitoring and, if you’re not paying attention, it’s easy to burn the bottom layer of rice onto the pan. And, while I’ve never considered risotto a dish that is out of reach for the amateur cook, Gourmet’s recipe for Red Beet Risotto with Mustard Greens and Goat Cheese is pretty much impossible to mess up. It’s really pretty brilliant.
First of all, I made this dinner in a blistering 28 minutes. Eat that Rachel Ray. Secondly, I subsituted, failed to measure, and/or included ingredients in the wrong proportions. I didn’t have mustard greens, so I used kale instead, which was not a big deal. I just put it in the pot earlier to give it some more time to cook. I also only had half the amount of required goat cheese, but I think I made up for the flavor loss by using chicken stock instead of broth. Finally, I broke a cardinal rule of risotto. This is a little embarrassing, but I’ll admit it: I substituted jasmine rice for arborio.
I know, I know, how can you make risotto without risotto rice?! It’s always made with arborio or sometimes carnaroli rice. Well, Gourmet said I could do it. So, I did. Technically, the dish is probably not risotto anymore, but, you know what? It turned out just fine. Actually, more than fine. It was tasty, incorporated some of my favorite flavors (namely, beet and goat), and I’d definately make it again.