In the original version, the onion and garlic are sautéed in a pressure cooker, then the rice is sautéed, then stock is added and the cooker is sealed. This is cooked for 35 minutes; then the cooker is opened and the remaining ingredients are added, and it continues to cook for another 15 minutes.
But I don’t have a pressure cooker, so I decided to make the recipe using the standard risotto-cooking technique of adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, cooking it in, and so forth, until it’s creamy and tender. I knew that this would be a challenge using brown rice, but I’ve never turned away from a cooking challenge.
There are varying opinions on whether or not to soak rice. At the Natural Gourmet Institute, we were taught to soak rice, unless there’s a particular reason not to.
In the case of this recipe, I think it’s particularly important to soak the rice ahead of time because it softens the grains and gives the rice a head start. Cooking this risotto will still take longer than typical risotto, but soaking the rice will definitely help it along. In the end, it will take about an hour; however, you don’t have to stand at the stove the entire time. When you add stock, stir it in and walk away. But don’t forget to go check it!
You can use leftovers to make rice balls or patties. Depending on how sticky it is, you may need to add something to bind the rice, such as an egg or some bread crumbs. Enjoy!
|Brown Rice Risotto|
- 2 cups short-grain rice, soaked*
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 4 garlic cloves, mined
- 4-5 cups vegetable stock
- 2 pounds asparagus
- 1/8 teaspoon saffron, dissolved in ½ cup stock
- 1 ½ tablespoons mirin
- 1 tablespoon umeboshi vinegar
- 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Grated parmesan (optional)
- Drain the rice well and set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large pot. Saute the onion until translucent. Add the garlic and sauté another 2 minutes.
- Add the rice and sauté, stirring frequently, until lightly browned. Begin adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Stir it in, partially cover the pot. When the liquid has been absorbed, add more stock.
- After 3 additions, add the stock with the saffron and the mirin. Stir it in. When that has been absorbed, continue adding stock and letting it absorb.
- When you’ve used half the stock, add the remaining stock all at once, plus the asparagus, vinegar, salt, and pepper. Stir it in, partially cover the pot, and let it absorb. The rice will have more of a chew than white risotto, but if it’s still hard, add more stock or water until it’s done.
- Check for seasoning and adjust if necessary. Ladle it out into bowls and sprinkle parmesan over the top. Serve hot.
* Place the rice in a medium bowl and add water to cover by 2 inches. Cover the bowl and refrigerate overnight, or a minimum of 8 hours.