We went to a friend's house for Easter dinner yesterday and we all contributed elements of the meal. I love that potluck-style meals are the norm here in the Midwest when eating with others because it takes the pressure off of hosting and it means that we all get to share some things from our own kitchens. It took me a while to decide what to bring, but I eventually decided to make a baked risotto since I thought it would be kid- and parent-friendly, and that it would go nicely with ham.
This Baked Brown Rice Risotto is based on a recipe from Ina Garten. I made enough changes that I thought I'd share it with you today. It's incredibly easy and it's a nice option for a dinner party or meal with a wide range of ages. It's soft enough for newer eaters, features toddler-friendly ingredients including peas, rice, and Parmesan, and yet it's delicious enough for parents to enjoy. (It goes really well with white wine!) You can also make it ahead of time and warm it right before dinner, so it's a stress-free entree option.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend with family and friends!
Easy Baked Brown Rice Risotto with Peas and Zucchini
I use long grain rice here since it has a faster cooking time than short grain rice, though you can use short grain if you prefer—just increase the amount of stock to 10 cups and add 10-15 minutes to the baking time. I buy Lundberg rice when I can since they have good information and documentation on their low levels of arsenic, which can be a concern with brown rice.
Adapted from Ina Garten
Makes: 8-10 servings
3 cups long grain brown rice
8 cups warmed chicken stock, divided
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, cubed
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups frozen peas
1 medium zucchini, finely diced
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Add the rice and 7 cups of the chicken stock to a 3 1/2-4 quart baking dish. Cover and bake for 45 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
2. Remove from the oven and stir in the remaining cup of broth, the Parmesan, butter, salt, peas, and zucchini until well combined. Cover for 5-10 minutes before serving or cover, set aside, and warm at 300 degrees F for 15-20 minutes just before serving.
Use vegetable stock to make the dish vegetarian.
Stir in 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves before serving for more flavor.
Try diced asparagus in place of the zucchini.