Artichoke Pesto Risotto

For years my friend Caroline and I have been getting together to cook, bake and most importantly, eat together. Before that our hobbies also included playing Sunny Sun Sun Land, long days in the pool pretending to be mermaids and binge playing Spyro on my PS2. I have spent every summer since I was five playing with Caroline, and I have no desire to see that change. 

A while ago, Caroline and I had the idea to start a food blog since we were cooking up all kinds of insane dishes on a regular basis. Now we still only have one recipe on Tonight We Feast, however the chocolate cake bites and the phrase are still a hit. Because feasting is really the only word that does justice to the meals we prepare, I almost always part with Caroline in some stage of a food coma. 

However, in the spirit of (not) growing up we are bringing back Tonight We Feast as a feature! You too can join us in food comas and full belly bliss. Most of the things we make border on being healthy by some standard, sometimes not at all. A lot of recipes involve garlic or cheese, and the best have both.  

Tonight we feasted on Artichoke Pesto Risotto a recipe we adapted from My Diary of Us

Artichoke Pesto Risotto 

2 Cups of Arborio Rice 
4 Tbsp. Butter
1/2 Cup of White Wine (I used Dreaming Tree Everyday White Wine)
1 Red Onion
6 Cups of Vegetable Broth (warmed on the stove)
Salt and Pepper
1 Can Artichoke Hearts, cut into quarters
1 Cup of Basil
1/4 - 1/2 Cups of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Cloves of Garlic (We cook with tons, so if you're not a fan or a vampire cut back a clove) 
1 Cup of Parmesan Cheese (1/2 for the risotto and 1/2 for the pesto)
1/8 Cup of Pine Nuts

  1. Melt butter in a large pot.  Add arborio rice and sauté for about three minutes on medium heat.
     
  2. Add in your onion and sauté for another three minutes until the onion starts to soften.  
     
  3. Add in the white wine, pour yourself a glass, and let it reduce and get absorbed by the rice.
     
  4. At this point you will want to add your vegetable broth, a cup at a time. Each time you add your broth, keep stirring the rice so it doesn't stick to the pot.  Let the liquid absorb each time before adding your next cup of broth, repeat this process until all the vegetable broth has been used and rice is tender, about 35 - 45 minutes.  
     
  5. Add salt and pepper to taste and 1/2 of the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
     
  6. Either make the pesto ahead of time or while someone else is constantly stirring the risotto. Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts, 1/2 of the parmesan cheese, and salt and pepper in a food processor, with a small amount of olive oil. Puree the mixture until smooth adding in more olive oil as you go to reach the desired consistency. 
     
  7. Once your risotto has finished cooking, add in your pesto and stir to combine.  
     
  8. Serve immediately with even more cheese on top if you know whats (not) good for you. 

It's a sure sign that summer is here when Caroline and I get cooking in the kitchen, and possibly one of my favorite ways to spend an evening. Even better now that we get to have wine at the table too!