Risotto is one of the few foods that manages to be comforting, yet still feel like a proper meal. Rice pudding, bread in hot milk and mashed potatoes are all soothing but can sometimes feel a bit close to baby food.
It also works as a comfort food because it takes some time to prepare, although it isn't difficult, so you feel that you are looking after youself and can tell any concerned relatives that you are indeed 'eating properly'. Standing over a pan stirring can be strssful it you're doing it for a tableful of people but for one it is mindlessly soothing.
The strong flavours of spinach and gorgonzola counter balance the gentle blandness of the rice and I think the green and blue streaks look beautiful, even though they don't really show up in the photo very well.
A small onion
One large handful of Arborio or Carnaroli rice
Splash of vermouth, white wine or similar
125ml stock, preferably homemade but à la stock cub
e is fine
One hanful of baby spinach, chopped
Fry a small onion or shallot until it's transluscent. Stir in the rice, coating it in the oniony oil then add the vermouth or white wine. Keep stirring until the liquid has mostly evapourated. Now start adding the stock a small ladleful at a time. It should be added hot, so either put it in pan and keep it over a low heat if you're using real stock, or crumble in a teeny lump of stock cube at the beginning and then add water from a recently boiled kettle.
Add liquid, stir, add more liquid and stir some more. The amount of liquid you end up using will dependon the heat of the pan and on the rice itself. This is not the thing to cook when you're liable to be distracted or not in the mood to spend twenty minutes by the stove. But after a long day some mindless chopping and stirring can be surprisingly relaxing - having to concentrate on something fairly untaxing gives you a break from thinking about other things.
When the rice has swollen and feels soft but with a bit of chalkiness towards the centre, add the chopped spinach. After a minute or two if should begin to wilt. Take the pan off the heat and throw in a small lump of butter and the gorgonzola.
Cover, and leave it while you quickly get together some salad and or pour yourself a drink. By now the cheese should be beginning to slowly ooze into the rice, but not yet fully melted. With the gorgonzola there's no need for parmesan but a meagre dusting of nutmeg or a bit of chopped parsley is a good idea.
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