Risotto is a dish that a lot of people save for special occasions, because all the time spent slowly adding the liquid and stirring until it is absorbed can be taxing. Personally, I love making risotto for that very reason. The act of cooking in general brings me great pleasure (obviously), and I don’t usually mind the time or effort it takes. Of course, part of my enjoyment in making risotto normally comes from enjoying a glass or two of wine with some good cheese and crackers while I cook…and since I am not able to indulge in wine these days, I look less forward to risotto. But risotto still sounded good on the menu last week, and this almost hands-free version was intriguing.
I’ll admit I was skeptical of how well this hands-free version would compare to a more traditional risotto. Of course, I should know by now – trust in Cook’s Illustrated. The method works wonderfully and Ben immediately declared, “Best risotto you’ve ever made!” I must say, I loved being able to spend time reading books and playing choo-choos with Andrew while the risotto took care of itself. I think I could get used to this method :) The caramelized onions were my own addition, and I think they really made this dish. That said, the time required to caramelize the onions does add a significant amount of time to this meal. Next time I’ll make the onions the night before, especially for a weeknight, so the process goes quickly on the night I plan to serve it.