Black Olive Risotto

Let me elaborate: this recipe takes your standard risotto ingredients – arborio rice, chicken stock, onion, white wine, and parmesan – adds two special ingredients – black olives and mascarpone – and becomes something super comforting, super creamy, and super delicious. That’s kind of what I’m looking for in a comfort food. And this is definitely comfort food.

Cookbook of the Month: The New Portuguese Table

The white beans and sausage were good, but not that original – I thought it tasted like regular old chili.  The cilantro soup I did not like at all – its only redeeming factor was the croutons made from Trevor’s delicious homemade bread – and I ended up dumping most of the recipe out, as well as not finishing the bowl I brought to lunch the next day.  And it takes a lot for me to throw out food that I really wanted to like.  Maybe I was expecting too much from such a simple recipe, but it was definitely a disappointment.  On the other hand, this black olive risotto – super awesome.  Like decadent grown-up mac’n’cheese with a twist.

Cookbook of the Month: The New Portuguese Table

Black Olive Risotto

Serves 3.  Adapted from David Leite’s “The New Portuguese Table”

  • 1 1/2 c. arborio rice
  • 1 TBS olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 5 c. chicken stock
  • 1/2 c. dry white wine
  • 2/3 c. freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/3 c. mascarpone cheese
  • 1/2 c. pitted kalamata olives, sliced
  • 3 TBS minced fresh parsley
  1. In a large, wide saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the onion and cook until translucent and beginning to brown.  In the meantime, heat stock over medium heat.  Add dry rice to pan with onions and cook for 1-2 minutes, until edges of rice are translucent.  Then add white wine all at once and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed.
  2. Add  ladleful of hot stock to the rice and stir constantly until it has been completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.  Continue adding stock one ladleful at a time and stirring until completely absorbed until the rice is just tender – you should use most of the stock.  If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked, use hot water.  When rice is tender.  Add parmesan cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sliced olives, and stir until cheeses are melted and risotto is creamy.  Remove from heat and serve hot with fresh parsley sprinkled on top.

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