Local seed saver and former Root Radical crew member, Annie Richard, shared this recipe (from myrecipes.com). Risotto is one of Annie’s favourite dishes to prepare and she says the somewhat labourious process is worth it.
Caramelized Carrot Risotto Recipe
- 2 tablespoons vegetable oil divided
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter divided
- 6 medium carrots peeled and chopped as finely and evenly as possible (about 3 cups; see Notes)
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 5 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1/3 cup onion minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese freshly shredded, plus 1/2 cup for garnish
- 1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley finely chopped, plus 1 tbsp. for garnish
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme roughly chopped
- 1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Heat 1 tbsp. oil and 1 tbsp. butter over medium heat in a medium heavy-bottomed pot; add carrots and stir with a wooden spoon until well coated. Add 1/2 cup water, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the sugar; cover and cook 5 minutes, or until tender. Uncover and cook, stirring occasionally, until water evaporates and carrots are just starting to brown, a few minutes more. Reserve half of the carrots. In a blender, purée other half with 3/4 cup hot water.
Bring chicken broth to a simmer and keep at a simmer, covered, over low heat.
Heat remaining oil and butter over medium heat in same (unwashed) pot used for carrots. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stirring with a wooden spoon to coat rice with oil, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until wine evaporates. Add carrot purée and cook, stirring, until mixture no longer looks soupy.
Add 1/2 cup hot broth, stirring often, until rice absorbs most of the liquid. Repeat process, adding 1/2 cup broth at a time and stirring often till each addition is absorbed before adding the next, until rice is al dente (about 20 minutes; at least 1 cup broth will remain).
Fold in reserved carrots (save 2 tbsp. for garnish), mascarpone, 1/4 cup parmesan, 1 tbsp. parsley, and the thyme. Add up to 1 cup broth (1/4 cup at a time) to loosen the risotto. Season with salt and white pepper to taste.
Sprinkle each bowl of risotto with some of remaining 1/2 cup parmesan, remaining 1 tbsp. parsley, and reserved carrots. Serve immediately.
To make this risotto even prettier, you can cut the carrots into 1/4-in. dice (it's time-consuming, but makes the carrots look like little jewels). Mascarpone—a rich Italian-style cream cheese available at specialty, gourmet, and Whole Foods stores—can be replaced with an equal amount of heavy cream.