Forbidden Rice Risotto with Carrot Pesto | Wine Enthusiast
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Forbidden Rice Risotto with Carrot Pesto

Forbidden rice, also known as black rice, gets its dramatic color from high levels of anthocyanins, the same antioxidants that give red grapes their color. Though a little less starchy than the rice typically used for risotto, it makes for an unexpected and nutritious alternative.

Risotto Ingredients

5 cups beef broth
1½ cups dry red wine
4 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1 red onion, minced
1½ cups forbidden rice
½ cup fresh-grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Carrot Pesto (ingredients and directions below)

Risotto Directions

Combine broth and wine in saucepan, and simmer over low heat.

In deep skillet or wide-bottomed stockpot over medium heat, melt 2 tablespoons butter. Add onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until deep golden-brown, about 10–15 minutes. Add rice, and stir for 1 minute. Add 1 cup hot broth mixture. Use wooden spoon to scrape brown bits from bottom of pan. When liquid is absorbed, continue to add broth mixture ½ cup at a time, stirring occasionally.

Allow most of broth to absorb before adding to pan. Continue until rice becomes tender and has loose, creamy consistency, about 40 minutes. You may not need all of broth mixture.

Remove from heat. Stir in remaining butter and cheese until both are melted. Divide among serving dishes. Top with carrot pesto. Serves 4.


Carrot Pesto Ingredients

2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
¼ cup roasted cashews
1 clove garlic
¼ cup olive oil
Salt, to taste

Carrot Pesto Directions

Place carrots, cashews and garlic in food processor, and pulse until coarse. As machine runs, add oil in steady stream until pesto becomes mostly smooth. Add salt, to taste. Makes about 1 cup.

Wine Pairing

Barra 2016 Estate Grown Petite Sirah (Mendocino). Petite Sirah makes inky, opaque wines with notes of black fruit, black pepper and dark chocolate. These flavors go well with the rich broth base of this dish, while the wine’s structure and unexpected acidity provide contrast to the risotto’s creamy texture.