one of these days, someone is going to come along and say, “hey suzy, you know all those recipes that just didn’t quite work out? the ones you refer to as ‘edible but not that yummy’? yeah, well it’s because you didn’t follow the directions,” and then walk away.

but until that happens, i can’t seem to resist the urge to adapt. what does this have to do with baked risotto? well, i’ll tell you.

the recipe (down below, by the way, maybe you all will have better luck with it) calls for four sessions of 15 minute baking, interspersed with stirring. at the third stirring, you’re supposed to add more water and then pop it back into the oven for the last 15. well …

let me interject at this point that i was dutifully following directions, letter for letter, up to this point. but like any cook, i cannot resist taste-testing at various points throughout the recipe. so i taste the risotto after i’ve added the water. and it seems to me, that the rice is now what the book refers to as “creamy”. or at least, i couldn’t imagine that the texture needs to be any softer than what it was at that point.

so i forego the final 15 minutes and add my vegetables. into a bowl, hey presto!, it’s risotto.

except …

it’s like the spaghetti carbonara. something tells me that this just isn’t quite right. either that, or i apparently don’t like risotto.

the rice is certainly “creamy”, it’s just that everything else around it is … well, gloopy is really the word that comes to mind. sticky, gummy … when i eat a spoonful of it, it reminds me of oatmeal, which can’t be right.

now, i can’t imagine that leaving it in the oven for another 15 minutes would have done anything other than make it mushy. but who knows.

but there is good news! i do not blame the cookbook! why not? because i have finally produced a dish worth eating out of it!

what dish, you ask? that’s for me to post when i’m not late to work, and for you to read when you’re bored at work.

in the meantime, if you want to try this out despite my, errm, glowing recommendation, here it is:

Baked Risotto, courtesy of Nava Atlas

1 1/2 c Arborio rice
2 15-oz cans vegetable stock
2 garlic cloves, very finely minced
about 1 1/2 c fresh vegetable of your choice (i used mushrooms and green and yellow peppers)
grated fresh Parmesan cheese for topping

-preheat the oven to 375
-combine the rice with the stock, 1 c water, and the garlic in a 2 qt casserole.
-cover and bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes
-at the third stirring, stir in 1 c water
-when done, the rice should have a tender and creamy texture
-stir in the vegetables, and let the risotto stand for 5 minutes before serving. pass around the parmesan cheese for topping.