It's quite a while that I've wanted to come up with a recipe to marry two of my favorite ingredients: Brussels sprouts and gorgonzola. This wild rice risotto fits the bill to a "t"! It's post holiday and time to shed those extra pounds so I wanted a yummy recipe but one that wouldn't interfere with this goal. So I opted for a wild & whole grain rice combination, not a usual for risotto but it worked beautifully! I skipped the butter and opted for olive oil, and very little at that. Okay, gorgonzola doesn't show up on any weight loss chart I've ever seen but I allowed myself just one delectable concession. It's an amazing dish!
Brussels sprouts is an odd name for these tiny cabbage-like vegetables, most likely attributable to the fact that they were traditionally a favorite dish in Brussels. Brussels sprouts are part of the brassica family of winter vegetables, rich in anti-oxidants, dietary fiber and vitamin B,C and K. I have about ten plants in my winter garden and am bamboozled by how they grow. Just like cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage varieties, the Brussels sprout plant has large, dark green leaves...which are also great in soups and sautéed. Whereas cauliflower, broccoli and cabbage plants produce one large vegetable, dozens of Brussels sprouts grow all along its stem. An amazing plant!
While growing up Brussels sprouts were at the top of my most hated food item. This is how it went: my mother, who was an abominable cook, prepared Brussels sprouts badly, but in line with main stream cooking of decades ago. She boiled them until mushy and all the flavor and bright green pigment had faded away. You can almost tolerate cooking another vegetable this way, but over-boiling Brussels sprouts brings out an unpleasant odor and taste.
At the dinner table the rule was to finish your meal and stay seated until you did. I'd get a Brussels sprout in my mouth and hold it there until I had a chance to slip it out unnoticed and place it on the panel beneath the dinner table. Later on I gathered up the hidden sprouts and flushed them. Oftentimes while awaiting the right moment to take the sprout out of my mouth some of its juice would mistakenly drizzle down my throat and cause a total body shudder of revulsion.
Nowadays I'm in a complete love affair with Brussels sprouts: roast, shaved raw into a salad, and now in this divine risotto dish! The Brussels sprouts I have at my fingertips are fresh-picked from the garden and divine when cooked to perfection.
Enjoy this risotto!
Wild Rice Risotto with Roasted Brussels Sprouts & Gorgonzola
Risotto generally calls for an arborio rice, but using wild & whole grain rice yields a healthier risotto and adds a lovely nuttiness to the dish.
I used Ribe long grain, red grain and black long grain; feel free to use your own mixture of rices. Make sure you choose rices with identical cooking times.
Brussels sprouts, rinsed and ends trimmed, 132 grams (4 ½ ounces)
Whole grain rice, 200 grams (7 ounces)
Onion, 1 small, minced
Olive oil, 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon
Dry white wine, 80 milliliters (⅓ cup)
Vegetable broth, 1 liter (1 quart)
Salt, as needed
Gorgonzola cheese (preferably dolce), 100 grams (3 ½ ounces)
Parmesan cheese, grated 25 grams (¼ cup)
Preheat the oven to 190°C (400°F)
Halve the Brussels sprouts, then toss in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
Place the sprouts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and tender crisp.
Sauté the minced onion on low in the other tablespoon of olive oil until tender and translucent.
Add the rice and cook until toasted, about a minute.
Add the white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.
Gradually add the vegetable broth to the rice, stirring occasionally.
Risotto needs about a ½ centimeter (¼ inch) pool of cooking liquid on the rice at all times in order to cook.
The cooking time will vary depending on the rice you use; generally about 40 minutes is a good estimate for most wild and whole grain rices.
When the rice is done (al dente: cooked but not mushy), yet still creamy, turn off the heat and stir in the Brussels sprouts, gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese.
Salt to taste.
Cover and allow to sit several minutes before serving.
- 113 grams Brussels sprouts rinsed and ends trimmed, (4 ½ ounces)
- 200 grams Whole grain rice (7 ounces)
- 1 Onion 1 small, minced
- 2 tablespoons Olive oil 1 tablespoon + 1 tablespoon
- 80 milliliters Dry white wine (⅓ cup)
- 1 liter Vegetable broth (1 quart)
- 1 teaspoon Salt or as needed
- 100 grams Gorgonzola cheese preferably dolce, (3 ½ ounces)
- 25 grams Parmesan cheese grated (¼ cup)
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (400°F)
- Halve the Brussels sprouts, then toss in 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.
- Place the sprouts on a baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until golden and tender crisp.
- Sauté the minced onion on low in the other tablespoon of olive oil until tender and translucent.
- Add the rice and cook until toasted, about a minute.
- Add the white wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.
- Gradually add the vegetable broth to the rice, stirring occasionally.
- Risotto needs about a ½ centimeter (¼ inch) pool of cooking liquid on the rice at all times in order to cook.
- The cooking time will vary depending on the rice you use; generally about 40 minutes is a good estimate for most wild and whole grain rices.
- When the rice is done (al dente: cooked but not mushy), yet still creamy, turn off the heat and stir in the Brussels sprouts, gorgonzola and Parmesan cheese.
- Salt to taste.
- Cover and allow to sit several minutes before serving.