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From Simply Vibrant by Anya Kassoff © 2018 by Anya Kassoff. Photographs © 2018 by Masha Davydova. Reprinted in arrangement with Roost Books, an imprint of Shambhala Publications, Inc.
The oven-baked risotto method eliminates the need for constant stirring, allowing the cook to tend to other matters, whether in or away from the kitchen. Various root vegetables bring nourishment, depth and color to this dish, and the uncommon addition of warming curry spice is especially welcome when the air is crisp.
Roasted Root Vegetable Oven Baked Risotto
- 3 medium carrots
- 2 large or 3 small parsnips
- 2 medium sweet potatoes or ½ medium winter squash
- 3 tablespoons soft neutral coconut oil or olive oil—divided
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper—to taste
- 1 large onion
- 3 garlic cloves
- 1 lemon
- Approximately 7 thyme sprigs
- 7 cups of vegetable broth
- Grated Parmesan or crumbled feta—to taste (optional)
- ½-1 tablespoon curry powder—amount depends on how spicy your curry blend is
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice
- 4 cups baby spinach or chopped spinach leaves (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425° F (220° C).
- Peel and dice carrots, parsnips and sweet potatoes/squash into bite-sized pieces. Place them into a rimmed baking tray, add 1 tablespoon oil and toss to coat. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 30 minutes or until soft and caramelized, stirring at halftime.
- While vegetables are roasting, chop the onion into medium-sized pieces and mince the garlic. Juice the lemon and separate thyme leaves from stems. Heat up the broth in a pot and keep it warm. Shred the cheese if using.
- When vegetables are done baking, remove them from the oven and set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 350° F (180° C).
- Warm the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large, oven-proof and heavy-bottomed pot at medium heat. Add onion and sauté for 5 minutes, until translucent. Add garlic, thyme leaves and a big pinch of salt, sauté for 2 more minutes.
- Increase heat to medium high. Add curry, rice and lemon juice to the pot, and stir around until all the liquid is absorbed, 1-2 minutes. Remove from heat and add 5 cups of the warm broth and a pinch of salt. Cover the pot and place it in the oven. Leave to cook, undisturbed, for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, measure 1 ½ packed cups of various roasted vegetables and add to an upright blender, along with the rest of the broth. Blend until smooth and keep warm.
- Take the risotto out of the oven and taste rice for doneness – it should be cooked, but still have some bite to it. If the rice seems undercooked, place pot back into the oven for another 5 minutes. Pour the blended vegetable liquid into the risotto and stir vigorously for a couple of minutes. The risotto may seem too soupy at first, but rice will absorb the liquid as it sits. Add spinach if using and stir in until it wilts. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Add remaining roasted vegetable pieces and cheese, if using, and stir to incorporate. Serve immediately, garnished with more cheese if desired. Warm up leftover risotto with a few tablespoons of vegetable broth to achieve a creamy consistency.