Purists can turn their nose up and say this isn’t real risotto but anything that tastes this good and is so family friendly works for me. This will cook perfectly happy in the oven while you are getting on with evening chores and sure beats standing over a stove stirring. The root vegetable dip is delicious as a dip in its own right with some crudites and a glass of wine or stirred into the risotto as I did and it also helps reduce the GI of the rice and adds more good nutrition than the rice on its own.
Oven Baked Risotto
1 medium shallot finely diced
10 oz Arborio rice
1 litre hot vegetable or chicken stock
2 oz Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 glass white wine
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C
Make sure you start with a pot or casserole dish which can go in the oven
Heat 2 tbsp oil over a medium heat and add the shallot and cook under soft and translucent
Turn up the heat and add the rice and cook for a minute or two until it starts to turn golden
Add the wine, let it bubble to reduce
Add all the stock, give it a good stir, season with salt and place in the oven with lid on.
Bake for about 20 / 25 minutes until until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente.
Remove from the oven, add the Parmesan, butter and season again if needed and stir well until the rice is thick and creamy.
Add a few tbsp of the root vegetable dip if using and serve hot.
Root Vegetable Dip
1 medium butternut squash peeled and diced in to large dice
3 medium carrots peeled and diced into large dice
4 cloves of garlic peeled
1 tbsp Ras el Hanout Moroccan spice mix
2 tbsp rapeseed or cooking olive oil
3oz Feta cheese
Salt to season
Tip the vegetables onto a flat tray, drizzle over the oil and 1/2 the spice mix
Bake in the oven until tender for about 20 minutes
When cool tip into a blender and blend with the rest of the spice mix, the feta cheese
If it is still quite thick, loosen with a little olive oil and blend again.
This is delicious with some baked pitta chips, other crudites or on the side with a salad and as above, stirred into the risotto.