And it would be perfect with a good wine and a nice salad.
(Dear husband, please stop reading here because I want this to be a surprise. Happy Valentine's Day, LOML).
So you want the recipe? Then let's go get it ...
The Almost Vegetarian Valentine's Day dinner
So what are we having for dinner tonight? Why risotto. Of course.
I've wanted to lean how to make this forever. Of course, my Italian in-law's make an amazing version, but, erm, tonight is just for the husband-man and myself. So I'm going to have to figure this out without any help from the in-law's. It'll be fun.
Now, why did I choose risotto? It's creamy and warm and absolutely delicious. Of course, it doesn't hurt that it is pretty simple and doesn't use a lot of dishes. Because the last thing you want to be doing on Valentine's is a ton of dishes.
I always find the best food starts with the best ingredients. And one of my reliable places to get quality ingredients is Dean & Deluca. Now, it makes sense that I used to go here because I used to live near one; but I don't any more. So if you're in the same boat as me, then do what I do, order online and thank heavens for delivery.
Now, as luck would have it, Dean & Deluca has a great risotto kit. It comes with pretty much everything you need: carnaroli rice which makes a wonderfully creamy risotto, pungent dried porcini mushrooms and Spanish saffron so you can make two types of risotto (husband loves mushrooms, so we're going the porcini version tonight), and Ligurian extra-virgin olive oil which has a wonderfully fruity flavor. All this comes packaged with a pretty, long-handled cherrywood stirring spoon in a stainless steel risotto pan from Italy.
This pan is wonderful - thick enough to keep your risotto from a nasty burn, wide enough to also make a great omelette, and pretty enough to hang from one of its two handles.
In fact, all you need to add are white wine and a good vegetable broth.
Now, this recipe is from an old issue of Bon Appétit. It calls for brandy or cognac, instead of wine, but you can use whatever alcohol you prefer.
Vegetarian recipe for Valentine's Day: Porcini risotto
3 tablespoons butter
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
1 1/2 cups carnaroli rice
1 1/2 ounces dried porcini mushrooms, reconstituted in 1 1/2 cups hot water
3 1/2 to 4 cups vegetable broth
1/4 cup Cognac or brandy
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion. Cover and cook until golden, stirring occasionally, about 15 minutes. Add rice, porcini, 1 cup porcini soaking liquid, 3 1/2 cups broth and Cognac. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low; simmer uncovered until rice is tender and mixture is creamy, stirring occasionally and adding broth if dry, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Pass cheese separately.
Well, I haven't made it yet. But I purposefully kept the meal light so no one will be falling asleep after dinner. No one.
Happy Valentine's Day!