Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bread and Wine: Basic Risotto

Today's post is two things: a book review and a risotto recipe.  Don't be scared, risotto truly is REALLY easy!  And if books or cooking aren't your thing, no worries.  You can check out my guest post on Karly of Miss in the Midwest today, sharing all of my fall fashion essentials here!

Soooo, let's start with the book.  Bread & Wine by Shauna Niequist came pretty highly recommended by Shay Shull of Mix and Match Mama - she called it her favorite book she'd read of 2015 so far, so of course I had to check it out.  Because the Amazon synopsis explains the book better than I ever could...

Bread & Wine is a collection of essay's about family relationships, friendships and the meals that bring us together.  This mix of Anne Lamott and Barefoot Contessa is a funny, honest and vulnerable memoir.  It's a celebration of of food shared, reminding readers of the joy found in life around the table.  It's about the ways that God teaches and nourishes people as they nourish the people around them.  It's about hunger, both physical and otherwise, and the connections between the two.

I was really excited to get it (ordered off of Amazon here), but the hype was so high that I was figured it wouldn't live up to my expectations.  I was happily wrong!  Bread & Wine is really that good, all the hype is totally warranted.  Each chapter is a short story that usually concludes with a recipe.  The stories are heartwarming and feel good, and the recipes are mouth watering but still doable for non-chefs like us.  

Shauna writes in a way that feels like you're catching up with an old friend.  She's open and real and honest and it's really refreshing.  Things aren't sugarcoated in the book, but I liked that.  She shares stories about her family, friends, food and her relationship with God - I learned a lot about my own relationships from hers.  This book is just good for the soul reading and it may very well be my favorite book of 2015 so far, too.

If you're not huge into cooking, that's okay too!  I think you'll still enjoy this book because it's Shauna's  story telling that makes this book so great.  The recipes are just a bonus, in my opinion.  She has tons of good ones, but my very favorite recipe in the book is her basic risotto.

I'd never made risotto before because it just seemed intimidating.  Complicated and easy to mess up are usually things I prefer to stay away from in the kitchen.  But she mentioned this risotto recipe in the book quite a few times, enough times that I HAD to try it.  And again I was pleasantly surprised, it really was easy!  It's more of a time consuming recipe than a difficult one.  It requires your attention and takes a little bit of time, but it's so worth it.  

My favorite thing about risotto (besides how delicious it is), is that you can customize it a million ways.  I love to throw in asparagus and roasted tomatoes, or you can do mushroom, shallots, corn, shrimp, spinach, peas, sun dried tomatoes - anything.  Not to mention the leftovers.  This is an awesome recipe to make on the weekend when you have a bit more time and then eat it all week because it makes tons of food!  I cut the recipe in half when I make it and we still have plenty of leftovers.  

But, enough talking.  Here it is!  

Basic Risotto from Bread & Wine
Olive oil
4 cloves of garlic
1 onion
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
6 cups chicken broth
Parmesan cheese

Boil the 6 cups of chicken broth in a small pot while you chop the onions and press your garlic cloves.

Pour a thin layer of olive oil into a dutch oven or stockpot.  Throw in the onions and soften on medium/medium low heat for five minutes or so.  Next, add your 4 garlic cloves and give it three more minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the garlic smell takes over your kitchen (the best)!

Throw in the arborio rice to the garlic/onion mixture and stir, stir, stir.  Once the rice is coated thoroughly, add in 1 cup of white wine and stir, stir, stir.  Stirring is key to risotto if you haven't noticed yet ;)

Once the wine is absorbed (about a minute or so), add a cup of warmed broth and stirrrrr.  What you're trying to do now is keep the risotto from drowning, but also keep it from drying out.  I keep the heat at medium - you definitely don't want your rice boiling, more like slightly simmering if that makes sense.  

Again, after the rice absorbs the broth, add in another cup of broth.  Keep adding broth cup by cup and stirring every couple of minutes until broth is gone.  This takes me about 30 minutes to finish.  The risotto is done when the rice feels soft with a bite in the middle.  Remember, it's supposed to have that bite so don't keep cooking to get rid of it - you'll overcook if you do that!

Last step: mix in a handful of Parmesan cheese and finish with a couple rough grinds of black pepper.

Y-U-M.  Make sure to let me know if you try it and/or if you have any questions on the recipe!  Enjoy!



  1. Yum! I love a good risotto!

    Her Heartland Soul

  2. That risotto looks amazing! And I'm definitely going to have to check out Bread & Wine! Thanks for sharing! <3, Pamela Sequins & Sea Breezes

  3. I feel like I can already smell this.... but I'm also still intimidated by it!! You have ALLLLLL the skills. (Will have to check out the book though.)

  4. Risotto is one of my favorite things to make!! Because after you're done you feel so accomplished and everyone is so impressed but like you said it's so easy!!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

  5. I lovee risotto! And I'll have to check out this book, it sounds so interesting!

  6. My mom's birthday is coming up and I think she would love that book! thanks for the recommendation!

  7. YUM! I'm having risotto for lunch today, but looking at this is making me wish I was having your recipe :)

    Green Fashionista

  8. I agree--this book was an absolute gem. I think I'll probably re-read it again in a couple of years. It definitely inspired me to have some dinner parties and I want to try out her risotto too! Glad you liked the book as much as I did!

  9. Ok, you have definitely convinced me that I need this book! I've heard Shay talk about it and really wondered if it was all that great! I just ate the most delicious risotto on vacation and really wanted to try to recreate it at home so thanks for sharing :)

  10. Look at you go!! The hubs can make a mean risotto, but we haven't had it in YEARS! I might be begging him to make some this weekend now :)

  11. omgggg yummm! can i come over for dinner?! xo jillian - cornflake dreams

  12. I love risotto. I'll have to check this book out!

    xx, Carly | carly blogs

  13. Ina can do no wrong! I love a good risotto and this looks perfect!

  14. I've heard great things about this book. I love me a good risotto, this looks delicious.

  15. this looks amazing! i LOVE risotto, but KC hates it so I rarely make it. boo.

  16. I've never tried risotto but its a carb - how can I NOT like it :)

  17. Sounds like a book I'd love! Risotto is one of my favorites - I need to try this recipe, yum!

  18. I've never had risotto!! Can you believe it!????

  19. This recipe looks delicious! I've never made or eaten it before but it sounds like the perfect dish to make into a "date night" at home! That book sounds amazing - I've got her Savor Bible study book on my Christmas list

  20. I love love love risotto, but it is one of the few things that I have never made from scratch. The constant stirring keeps me away, since toddlers & babies are unpredictable and I frequently have to take many cooking breaks. Perhaps I will tackle this recipe on the weekend when helping hands are around.

  21. I love this book as well! I have her book Savor on my Amazon Wish List right now :) Her risotto recipe is delicious!


  22. I have heard the BEST things about this book! One of these days I'm actually going to take the time to read through it. :) Also, I love a good risotto! I know what you mean about how intimidating it can be. I felt that way the first time I made it too. Yours looks absolutely delicious!

  23. That risotto looks/sounds delicious! I've actually never had any before!

  24. Yum!!! I love risotto... however I usually make it out of the box lol. I should probably read a cookbook or two because I'm not the best in the kitchen. Case in point- I accidentally turned a burner on tonight and Ryan didn't know it was on and basically melted part of the plastic cutting board. It was so smoky in here.... so bad!!! Lol.

  25. Risotto is amazing. I have always loved it but yes, it's definitely one dish that requires a ton of concentration.

  26. Mmmmm. I would love to try this!

    ~Ashley @ A Cute Angle

  27. Ummm risotto is always amazing in my book! I don't have the patience to typically make it though. But it tastes so good! Loved your post on Karly's blog!



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