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Saturday, August 06, 2005

Babies Dig Risotto 

Maybe I shouldn't generalize too much here, but Celeste at least is one baby who seems to dig risotto. When you stop and think about it, that shouldn't be surprising: rice, cheese, gooey, creamy — what's not to like?

She's had bits of my standard risi e bisi risotto before, and she enjoyed the leftovers of the zucchini-porcini risotto I made last week. So I decided to start making some batches of risotto specifically for Celeste.

Part of this was because we had a block of Cascadian Farms frozen winter squash that I picked up a while ago thinking we could break off pieces to feed Celeste. She never really went for it (and, honestly, it wasn't as good as the homemade butternut squash purée that she had been getting, so I don't blame her), but something needed to be done with it. I'd made a pumpkin risotto a while back, so I started thinking ...

Squash and Garbanzo RisottoSauté the onions in olive oil until translucent, add the rice toss to coat with oil. Add the garam masala and water and stir until mostly absorbed. Add in the stock, thawed squash and garbanzo beans and stir. Bring to a boil and lock down the pressure cooker. Cook for 8 minutes at low pressure. Release pressure and stir in ricotta.

Evelin and Celeste both liked it (Evelin compared it to pumpkin soup) and, since we froze about half of it, we'll see how it reheats over the coming week or two. The garam masala I used is a North Indian style with heavy notes of cinnamon. I don't think a hotter South Indian one would work as well, but maybe some scallions or fresh parsley would be a nice addition.

Blogger Commenting:
Wow, that sounds good. I've been trying to master the art of the risotto with my Italian-language cookbook, but this will be a nice step up.

By the way, how is the new Belle and Sebastian?
 
It's pretty good — the typical poppy hooks with slightly off lyrics.

The one thing I've found that makes risotto super-easy is a pressure cooker. I use a Kuhn Rikon 3.5 liter one. There's no stirring or having to babysit the risotto ... and it's done in less than 10 minutes.
 
Man, that Celeste is going to be one sophisticated kid... I think I was 27 before I had risotto for the first time!
 
Oh I was in my 20s the first time, too ... the only reason Celeste's getting risotto now is the pressure cooker!
 
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