Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Torta Di Riso (Risotto Tart)
Recently, a chef friend and colleague was cleaning out her collection of old cookbooks and she brought me a couple to see if I wanted them. There was a great tome on pasta making that will go into my "someday" pile and there was an old Martha Stewart entertaining book. I generally enjoy flipping through the Martha Stewart Living Magazine when it happens across my desk at work, whether I actually attempt any of her ideas or not. But the old entertaining book felt quite old indeed. The recipes and ideas seemed very dated and way too fussy for me. But then I happened on a large photo of a risotto tart. Huh? A risotto baked into a tart? The thought had never occurred to me...but I liked it.
The recipe was for a basic herbed risotto, of the type I often make, that was baked in a spring-form pan with breadcrumbs. Would it really set up the way the photo showed? It was too cool looking not to try and I figured the worst thing that could happen was that I'd end up with a tasty mess.
Happily the technique does work and the tart set up beautifully. The spring form pan is mandatory and I recommend cooking out much more of the liquid from the risotto than if you were serving it right away. You can also double the recipe for a much taller tart. The result is definitely a winner both in terms of taste and appearance. I didn't tell Brian about the recipe and just presented the tart along with a pot luck Sunday night supper. One taste and he was raving and asking what in the world this great new dish was. Enjoy!
1 Cup arborio (short grain) rice
1 Onion, chopped
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1/4 Cup white wine
3 Cups chicken stock, heated
1/4 Cup plus extra handful Parmesan cheese, grated
Large handful of chopped parsley
Large handful of chopped chives
Salt and pepper to taste
Sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until translucent. Add the rice and continue sautéing and stirring until the rice is coated. Slowly add the white wine and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock. Cook over medium heat, stirring often until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Add an additional 1/2 cup of stock and repeat the process until the rice is tender. Toss in the fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese and season to taste.
Once the risotto is cooked, butter a spring-form pan and dust with breadcrumbs (I used Panko). Pour the risotto mixture into the pan and allow to cool. Refrigerate for a couple of hours or overnight. Top with a handful of grated Parmesan cheese and bake in a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 45 minutes. Makes 4-8 servings depending on the size of the slice.
Note that I found it's much easier to slide the tart off the base of the spring-form pan when it's cool. So I cooked the tart for 30 minutes, allowed it to cool, slid it onto a sheet pan and finished baking it for another 20 minutes.