Romancing risotto…

Elegant anytime.
Risotto.  
Romance it seasonally or as a specialty item. 
Also exceptional as a small plate offering.
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Quinoa Risotto with Mushrooms and Thyme
1 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups chopped onion
1 garlic clove, pressed
1 8-ounce package sliced crimini mushrooms
6 ounces shiitake mushrooms, sliced
3 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme, divided
1 cup dry white wine
Grated Parmesan cheese
Bring 2 cups salted water to boil in medium saucepan. Add quinoa, reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until tender and water is absorbed, about 13 minutes. Meanwhile, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until onion begins to brown, 5 minutes. Add garlic– stir 30 seconds. Add mushrooms and thyme. Sautée–until mushrooms are tender, 6 minutes. Add wine–stir until wine is reduced and liquid is syrupy, 2 minutes. Mix quinoa into mushroom mixture–season with salt and pepper. Pass cheese separately.
Per serving: 320.1 kcal calories, 32.1 % calories from fat, 11.4 g fat, 2.3 g saturated fat, 10.0 mg cholesterol, 38.3 g carbohydrates, 13.1 g dietary fiber, 6.2 g total sugars, 25.2 g net carbohydrates, 16.8 g protein
Farro and Millet Risotto
3/4 cup / / 5 oz / 150 g uncooked millet * or swap in barley
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
fine grain sea salt
1/4 cup / 2 oz / 55 g unsalted butter
2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 garlic clove, smashed and chopped
2 cups / 14 oz / 400 g semi-pearled farro
roughly 7 cups / 1.6 l vegetable broth
2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan
Add-ins depend on the season: squash or nuts or slivered game for wintery fare
It works best to cook the millet and farro separately here. Start by adding the millet to a small thick-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Toast it, stirring constantly, until the millet is golden and fragrant – just a few minutes. Add 1 3/4 cup / 475 ml water, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and a couple generous pinches of salt. Stir, bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for about 20 minutes, or until the grains are cooked and free of liquid. Taste, and if they need more time, cook for a few minutes more, then remove from heat, and leave covered for another 5-10 minutes. Fluff with a fork, and set aside. Stir in the remaining oil, butter, onions and a big pinch of salt. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent. Stir in the garlic, and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the farro and cook for a couple minutes before adding 2 cups of the broth. Cook, stirring, until the farro has absorbed most of the liquid before adding another cup. Keep adding stock in increments like this until the farro is cooked through. Once it’s cooked, stir in half the millet. Add more broth if needed, the risotto should be loose. stir in most of the Parmesan. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Add more broth if needed – the texture should be loose and creamy. Serve hot, in bowls topped with the remaining Parmesan, and whatever other creative preferences.
Roasted Root Risotto
Make  a brunoise*, using a mix of carrot, beet, turnip, radish, parsnip, celeriac or yam
*Brunoise being a culinary cut that juliennes and then slices again into cubes.
For every cup of brunoise, heat 2 tbs of butter or oil
half an onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 or 2 cups  of chicken stock as needed
1 cup of arborio rice
1/2 shredded cheese of choice
Add a mixed cup of roasted root brunoise to the pan and stir it around with the onions and garlic.  Add the rice. Follow with a cup of stock, either chicken or veggie, and let  simmer uncovered until the stock almost evaporates. When the stock is almost gone, but before the pan gets  dry, add another half-cup of stock and stir. Repeat, stirring after each addition of stock, and then simmer until the liquid is almost gone. Add cheese.  Adapted from: alternet.org/story/145823/perfect_wintertime_recipe%3A_roasted_root_risotto
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