What I like about this recipe: lots of veggies. I am crazy about risotto but eating a huge bowl of creamy, buttery, cheesy rice seems like something that will eventually end in ones’ skirts doing an intervention on one. Adding lots of vegetables, on the other hand, makes one feel virtuous and slightly less porcine. So, it’s got that.
What I didn’t like was the texture of the rice and some of these specific vegetables. The mushrooms might have been better had they been sauteed first along with the onions. If you’re one of those people who don’t like mushrooms because of their disturbing spongy texture, you’re REALLY not going to like them steamed. I’m also on the fence about the red peppers. Maybe roasted peppers from a jar would have been better but I know Jacques was going for a crunchy texture so I get it. I just don’t think I like it.
My rice absorbed all of the liquid long before it was tender and even adding more didn’t help much. Cooking at a lower temperature would probably give the rice more time to absorb the liquid and result in that lovely creaminess that gives risotto a good name. If you watch the video of Jacques making this dish, he uses hot stock, which is the traditional way of making risotto, and I think that might also help.
Risotto with Vegetables is on page 107 of Essential Pepin. The recipe is not available on KQED in printed form, but the video will tell you all you need to know.