Bacon bits not required. The meaty, smoky flavor in this loaded, rich risotto comes from oven-caramelized scallions and smoked paprika.
- 8 scallions (about 1 bunch)
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 3/4 t kosher salt
- 4 C vegetable broth or stock
- 2 C water
- 2 T butter
- 1 lb. sweet potatoes (2 small), peeled, 1/4 to 1/2″ dice (3 C diced)
- 3/4 t smoked paprika
- 1 C small chopped yellow onion
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 1/2 C dry arborio rice
- 1/2 C dry white wine, such as sauvignon blanc
- 1/2 C sour cream (full fat recommended)
- 1 C finely grated mild to medium cheddar (about 3 oz.)
- 1 T thinly sliced chives (optional garnish)
- Preheat oven to 375 (F) and move rack to bottom third of oven. Arrange scallions in single layer on a baking sheet, use a brush to coat all over with up to 1/2 tablespoon olive oil, and sprinkle with a pinch of salt. Roast 13 to 15 minutes, turning halfway through, until light golden and soft when gently squeezed. Let cool slightly, then slice about 1/8 inch thick, discarding dark green tops and root ends.
- Combine broth or stock and water in a medium saucepan, bring to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and cover to keep warm.
- In a Dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add sweet potato cubes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of pepper. Stir to coat, then cook 3 to 4 minutes undisturbed in nearly a single layer. Continue to cook 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until most potatoes are browned on most sides. When potatoes are almost browned, sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika into pan and stir (adding toward the end prevents the spice from burning.). Remove to a separate dish.
- Heat remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil in same pan over medium until hot and shimmering. Add yellow onion and cook a few minutes until just softened. Add garlic and cook another minute, until fragrant. Add rice and stir to coat in oil. Cook 1 to 2 minutes, stirring constantly, until rice becomes translucent around the edges. Pour wine into pan, scraping the bottom to deglaze. Adjust heat so liquid comes to a low simmer, then cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is nearly gone (about a minute).
- Over the next 20 to 25 minutes, ladle or scoop warm broth, 1/2 to 1 cup at a time, into the pot with the rice. After each addition of liquid, stir almost constantly and adjust heat as needed to maintain gentle bubbling. Constant stirring prevents rice from sticking to the pan. When each addition of broth is almost absorbed, add the next portion.
- After using up half the liquid, start tasting the rice a minute or two before the liquid is fully absorbed. Each batch of risotto can require a slightly different amount of liquid, but a creamy risotto, in this case, should use most or all of the broth. Reserve at least 1/4 cup broth to finish the risotto.
- When the rice tastes done–not at all raw, but not mushy–turn off heat and add another 1/4 cup broth. Stir in sour cream, then stir in cheddar until melted. Finally, add the majority of the sweet potatoes (reserving a few for garnish), roasted scallions, 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Start with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
- Serve in bowls, or as a side dish, garnished with chives and reserved sweet potato cubes.
Don’t panic if your risotto doesn’t seem done after using almost all the broth. I haven’t encountered this during recipe testing and have positive feedback on the quantities from others, but your specific method or rice may be the cause. In a pinch, use room temperature broth or stock, or even water, if it’s all you have, to keep the rice cooking.
- Prep Time: 25 mins
- Cook Time: 60 mins
- Category: Dinner
- Cuisine: Gluten Free