I'm always searching for ways to make a healthier version of risotto, one of my favorite winter Italian dishes.
Risotto traditionally is made with starchy white rice. That starch is essential to producing a creamy, thick risotto. But I wanted a whole-grain version. Trouble is, brown rice doesn't release nearly as much starch during cooking, so substituting it often produces risotto that is thin and uninspiring.
It took me a few attempts, but I eventually figured out how to have my whole grains and my thick and creamy risotto. And it was simple. I just needed to add starch.
Once I had that down, then I needed to add flavor. For this recipe, I came up with two variations, one with Brussels sprouts and apple, another with asparagus and tomatoes. Both are incredibly delicious.
Food Editor J.M. Hirsch is author of the cookbook "High Flavor, Low Labor: Reinventing Weeknight Cooking."
Recipe: Creamy brown rice risotto two ways
- 1 cup short grain brown rice (or brown sushi rice)
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
- 1 pound Brussels sprouts, quartered AND 1 firm tart apple, peeled and diced