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Springtime Afternoon: Risotto!

March 17, 2005

risotto 1.jpg


The massive sundeck stretches the full length of the house and opens out to the expansive view of the buzzing city. Just steps below the deck, a glorious pool shimmers in the California sun.

Mr. R. and Miss A. relax at a large, round table that is dressed in the requisite white linen and crystal. Lauren reads a script in a sunchair next to them.

Miss A. stretches her bare, pedicured feet into the sun.


Is it finally Spring?

MR. R.

I guess any day here feels like Spring when you're from Manhattan.


I may never go back.

MR. R. smiles at the thought as Caryn enters with plates piled high with hot, green-speckled risotto.



Lauren comes over to the table as Caryn pours sparkling water into the glasses. Miss A. wastes no time before digging her fork into the steaming mound.


What's in this?


Oh, it's sort of a light risotto. Arugala, leeks, parmesan.


Mmmmm. Perfect dish for a beautiful day!

Lauren resumes reading her script without touching her lunch. Mr. R. eats in silence. Caryn takes the opportunity to sneak away.


You're right. Your chef is really good.

Lauren looks up from her script to Mr. R. who continues to eat.


She's alright. Not the best you've ever had.

Mr. R. dismisses Lauren's comment with a laugh. The table falls silent as the trio drifts off into their thoughts of the afternoon.

Around the corner, Caryn sits on the back steps, disappointed with the previous conversation from the deck. She stretches out her home-pedicured feet into the sun and tries to disappear into her own plate of risotto.

Spring Green Risotto

3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 large leeks, cleaned and chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
5 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 cups chopped baby arugala
1/4 cup snipped fresh chives
2 Tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring stock to a gentle simmer.
2. Heat oil over medium-high heat in heavy-bottomed pan. Add leeks and garlic. Saute until soft, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until rice is nearly translucent, about 3 minutes.
3. Add the wine and stir until it is completely absorbed.
4. Slowly add 1 cup of the stock to the rice, stirring constantly.
5. When the stock has been nearly absorbed, add the arugala, chives and thyme.
6. Continue to add the stock a ladleful at a time, stirring the rice constantly, until the rice is just tender and looks creamy, about 20-25 minutes.
7. Stir in the parmesan and salt and pepper. Serve at once.

3 lunch-sized portions, and a little leftover.

Posted by Caryn at March 17, 2005 06:32 AM | Printable Version | Recipe Only

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Hi Caryn,

I get the feeling that I'm going to be leaving a lot of repetitive comments on your posts, in the vein of, 'great shot, love the dialogue, thanks for the recipe'. I'll try to be more creative from here on in! ;-)

Posted by: Moira at March 17, 2005 02:58 PM

I keep coming, I am addicted to your posts now. They are so relaxing and refreshing. and the photos, I can feel the crispness of the arugula, see the translucence of the rice...it is really inspiring. Thank you.

Posted by: Gracianne at March 18, 2005 01:23 AM

Moira and Gracianne,

I am sort of surprised that anyone keeps coming back to read my little story. But thanks. I so enjoy maintaining the site and am quite thrilled that you enjoy it too.

Posted by: caryn at March 18, 2005 11:54 AM

Hey Caryn,
I just came upon your blog from a link and Im addicted already! Your blog is so much fun, and the recipes are very appealing (probably because the photos are like eye candy!)

Posted by: tanvi at March 18, 2005 08:32 PM

hello! your risotto looks so delicious!! i've seen a lot of risotto pictures before where it seems like the rice is swimming in some sort of soup and the whole thing looks unappetizing.. but your picture makes me want to go out and try cooking risotto again, despite my unsuccessful first try. :)

Posted by: Emily at March 19, 2005 11:05 PM

I love that you're a fellow So Cal resident! We have to hold our own against all those Bay Area food bloggers. Thanks for the compliments.

Everyone who knows me knows that I love risotto, but I've certainly made my share of risotto soups too. The trick is to stop adding broth as soon as the rice is al dente and then let it absorb the rest of what's there before serving. Don't feel the need to add all the broth that a recipe calls for.

Posted by: caryn at March 24, 2005 07:41 PM

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