Meatless Mains

Sizzling Risotto Gratin Noreen & Marion

Unlike most, this risotto is cooked in advance and then finished in the oven. This makes a great winter supper, served with a vegetable salad.

3 & 1/2 cups vegetable stock
4 tablespoons butter, plus butter for the dish
1 small red onion, finely diced
1 & 3/4 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
8 ounces Italian Fontina, cut into tiny cubes, about 2 cups
1 cup cream, chilled
few pinches freshly grated nutmeg
salt and freshly milled white pepper

Have the stock simmering on the stove. Butter a 2-quart gratin dish.

Melt the butter in a wide pot. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the rice, raise the heat a little, and cook, stirring constantly, for about 3 minutes. Add the wine, raise the heat to high, and simmer until it's completely absorbed. Add half the stock, adjust the heat so that the liquid is simmering briskly, and cook, stirring occasionally until it is mostly absorbed, about 12 minutes. Add the remaining stock in 1/2-cup increments, stirring constantly, until each addition is absorbed before adding the next.

Remove the rice from the heat and stir in the cheese, cream and nutmeg. Taste and adjust the seasonings if needed, then pour the rice into the gratin dish. Cover with plastic wrap and leave at room temperature until you're ready to serve.

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees and set the oven rack in the top third of the oven. Bake the risotto until it's sizzling and golden, about 15 minutes. If it's not browning, turn on the broiler for a final minute so that the surface is a rich gold. Serve immediately.

Serves 4 to 6

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