I am the kind of girl who picks the bell peppers off the pizza or the salad so it came to me as a surprise the first time I asked my mom, “what tastes so good in the tomato soap?” and she replied, “roasted red bell peppers.” Since then, the flavor really grew on me and I’m slightly obsessed with my peppers in everything now, stir-frys, pizza and now risotto!
So, here you go, an easy recipe for a flavorsome risotto. Two things to note though… One is that this takes some time but I’ve learnt enough from the Italians to never rush risotto. The other is you can make this with vegetable broth or just plain water and either way it’s delicious! I like to serve it with some steamed kale (a squeeze a lemon and sprinkle some salt on that) to make a nutritious dinner.
Prep time: 40-50 minutes
Serves: 3-4 people
2 red bell peppers
1½ cups of brown rice (presoaked for at least an hour)
1 small onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp of olive oil
a handful of fresh basil
3-4 cups of vegetable broth (optional, you can use water instead)
Salt and pepper to taste
Step 1: Preheat the oven to medium to high heat while you remove the seeds from the peppers.
Step 2: Place the peppers on a tray and place them in the oven for about 20-30 minutes or until the skin is charred.
Step 3: While the peppers are roasting, dice the onion and garlic and sauté in a pot for about 3 minutes. Bring your broth to a simmer (or boil the water you’re using instead of broth).
Step 4: When the onion and garlic are slightly browned, add the rice, give it a good stir and then start adding the water (about ¼ of a cup at a time). Keep adding water when the rice absorbs it. You can start adding the salt and pepper at this point.
Step 5: Remove the peppers from the oven and cover the tray for a few minutes. The evaporating steam will help the skin come off easily. After peeling the skin of the peppers, dice them and add them to the rice.
Step 6: Your risotto is ready when the rice is tender on the outside and slightly firm in the center. Before you turn off the heat, add a handful of diced basil and stir. You can enjoy this dish warm with a side of steamed vegetables.