As I’ve previously mentioned, Ben has a rather…interesting palate for a guy who doesn’t turn 2 until August. Tonight was a leftovers night, so he had a combination of leftover palak paneer and pizza. Totally normal diet. One thing that this kid likes is rice. Whenever he sees it he says, “Rye-sh? Rye-sh?” like the seagulls in Finding Nemo. Last night, I made risotto (“Rye-sh?! Rye-sh?!”) and Ben was pleased. He tapped his plate and said, “Morch?” We’re working on his Parseltongue accent.
Fair warning, it’s hard to make risotto healthy. I did my best. 🙂
Sausage, Fennel and Broccoli Risotto
(Baby approved! 4-6 servings)
1 ½ cup of Arborio rice
5-6 cups of chicken stock
1 cup of white wine (I used Pinot Grigio), divided
4 Tb butter, divided
2 Tb olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped and divided
4 cloves garlic, divided
2 spicy Italian sausages (I used turkey), casings removed
1 bulb fennel, sliced
4 cups of broccoli florets
Juice of one lemon
1 tsp crushed red pepper
½ cup Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
- Over medium-high heat, brown the sausage in a large pan. Set aside, add enough olive oil with the left over grease to get 2 tablespoons.
- Add half of the onion to the pan with 2 cloves of garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
- Stir in the fennel and broccoli and coat with the olive oil, garlic, and onions. Add in about a ¼ cup of the wine and stir. All of the wine should be absorbed by the vegetables.
- Season with salt and pepper and cook the vegetables until the stalks of the broccoli have become a bright green.
- Meanwhile, in a medium pot, heat the chicken stock over a medium heat. Reduce the temperature to keep it warm.
- In a large pan, heat two tablespoons of butter over medium heat. Add the ½ of the onion and 1 clove of garlic. Sauté for 2 minutes.
- Pour in the rice and coat with the butter, garlic, and onion mixture. Stir in remaining ¾ of a cup of wine. Keep stirring the rice until all of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Ladle the chicken stock into the rice a little at a time. Stir until all of the liquid has been incorporated before adding in the next ladle. The amount of stock can vary depending on your tastes. If you like a more “al dente” risotto, use less stock. If you like a softer risotto, use more.
- Throughout the cooking process, gradually season the rice with the crushed red pepper, salt and pepper until you get to your taste.
- When the risotto is done to your liking, add in the remaining 2 Tb of butter and stir until incorporated.
- Before combining the vegetables and sausage with the risotto, add the lemon juice to the vegetables and stir.
- Combine the rice, vegetables, and sausage in a large bowl and mix in the Parmesan cheese. Enjoy immediately!