Friday, July 3, 2009

Short Grain Brown Rice Risotto – foundation recipe

I bought short grain brown rice months ago to try to make a more healthy risotto and never got around to making it. Today, since my darling husband is working (don’t ask), I decided I was going to give brown rice risotto a try since I had the time.

I decided to make a very plain risotto for a few reasons: 1) I didn’t know if it was going to work, 2) if it did work I wanted to try to make it into risotto cakes tomorrow. Normally you would add aromatics to the pan first and sauté those before the rice. As you will see, I left that step out today.

This recipe is all about the method and the timing. The resulting risotto was a little al dente and creamy. I rather enjoyed the texture, although it isn’t traditional. This is a good method and I will be using it again soon.

Short Grain Brown Rice Risotto – foundation recipe
Serves 6 – 1 cup servings


2 cups of short grain brown rice
1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil
¼ cup of dry white wine or Marsala wine
1 teaspoon of kosher salt
10 cups of filtered water or vegetable stock, heated to a simmer (you may only use part of this)


Toast rice in olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pan over medium heat. When rice is just beginning to toast (about 3 minutes) add the wine. Cook the rice, stirring, until the wine evaporates and then add a ladle or two of hot water and a pinch of salt. Stir to beginning to release the rice starch. Turn the heat to low and set a timer for 5 minutes. Every five minutes add another ladle or two of water and a pinch of salt and stir the rice. You continue this process until the rice is tender to the tooth. This will take approximately 45 minutes. If you have liquid left in the pan and the rice is cooked, put a lid on the pan and let the rice sit covered for about 10 minutes. As long as there isn’t a lot of liquid the rice will absorb all the liquid as it sits.

You add any vegetables you want to this. The vegetables can be added to the top of the rice or they can be stirred inside. With this version I will be serving the sautéed vegetables to the top of the dish so that I can try to make brown rice risotto cakes tomorrow. This is another first for me, so it may brown rice cakes may not work. But if they do, I will post the recipe this weekend.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 141.29
Calories From Fat (20%) - 28.14

Total Fat - 3.25g
Saturated Fat - 0.31g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 323.35mg
Potassium - 10.16mg
Total Carbohydrates - 26.92g
Fiber - 2g
Sugar - 0.09g
Protein - 2.01g


Since the rice I used is brown it will not reach the same level of softness that you get from an Arborio or Carnaroli rice risotto. The texture is a little al dente, but I like that aspect of the dish. The rice is a little starchy, but again not as starchy as you get from a traditional risotto. I may need to add a little flour tomorrow to keep my risotto cakes together. Overall I think this experiment went better than I expected. I really am looking forward to making the rice cakes tomorrow.

Does anyone else have the French Laundry cookbook? Can you believe the amount of cream, butter and cheese they include in their carnaroli risotto with shaved white truffle recipe? I know those things are good, but seriously I don’t need to have a cardiologist on speed dial. I used to cook that way, so I shouldn’t comment, but I was rather horrified when I looked at the ingredients. It is no wonder so many Americans have prescriptions for statins these days. I am very thankful that I stopped cooking with all that saturated fat before my husband or I had a cardiac event.


  1. Since the rice I used is brown it will not reach the same level of softness that you get from an Arborio or Carnaroli rice risotto. The texture is a little al dente, but I like that aspect of the dish.

    If you want the brown rice to be more fluffy and risotto-like, try cooking it for about 15 minutes beforehand. (A tip from Mark Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian.)

  2. jaltcoh,

    Thanks for the suggestion, others may find that tip useful. I rather liked the texture slightly al dente.

    I also have Bittman's book but don't tend to cook things from it. Sounds like you use it much more frequently than I do.



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