When the temperatures are falling outside, you can count on this hearty, creamy risotto to lift your spirits inside and out. No need to be intimidated by this iconic Italian import - a trusty wooden spoon and good stirrin' hand are all you need to make this rich, tender rice dish. In our version, the nutty aroma of browned butter is suffused throughout the rice, and roasted Brussels sprouts and pecans top it off. Studded with tangy goat cheese crumbles, this is just the meal to melt away the winter blahs.
Peel and mince shallot.
Trim bottoms off Brussels sprouts and halve (quarter if larger than a ping-pong ball).
Stem and coarsely chop parsley.
Combine vegetable base with 4 cups water in a small pot and place over medium-high heat. When it begins to steam (but before it simmers), reduce heat to low.
Cook the Brussels Sprouts and Pecans
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil in a medium oven-safe non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Add Brussels sprouts to hot pan and stir occasionally, 5 minutes.
Add pecans and place pan in oven. Roast in hot oven until Brussels are tender and pecans toasted, 5-7 minutes.
Carefully, remove to a plate, tent with foil, and set aside.
Brown Butter and Toast Rice
Place a medium pot over medium heat. Add butter and cook until it browns and begins to smell nutty, 1-3 minutes. Be alert: Browning happens quickly after butter stops sizzling.
Add shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes.
Add Arborio rice and toast until rice grains appear pearly and a little golden, 2 minutes.
Add white wine and stir constantly until almost completely evaporated, 1 minute.
Begin the Risotto
When wine has mostly evaporated, add 1 cup hot vegetable broth to pot with rice. Rice should just be covered by broth.
Stir until nearly all broth is absorbed, then repeat with another cup of broth.
Continue this process, stirring often, until rice is tender, 18-20 minutes. You may not use all the broth. However, if you run short of broth before rice is tender, use hot water for final additions.
Finish the Risotto
When rice is fully tender, stir in Parmesan (reserve a pinch for garnish), parsley, ½ tsp. salt, and ¼ tsp. pepper.
Risotto should be creamy. If it is too stiff, add ¼ cup remaining broth (or hot water if no broth remains) to loosen.
Plate dish as pictured on front of card, placing Brussels sprouts and pecans on top of risotto and garnishing with reserved Parmesan and goat cheese (crumbling with your hands if needed). Bon appétit!