Sunday, February 26, 2012

Changing Up Risotto

Saturday Night Supper

I wanted to cook up the Charred Leek Sausage that we got at the farmer's market a couple of weeks ago.  Doesn't that sound good? We couldn't resist. I took them out of the freezer and browned them up. Instead of using brown rice which is what I usually use for my risotto (though traditionally you should use aborio), I thought I'd try a new wheatberry (also picked up the at the market) version.

Here's what I did last night and it's all based on a basic sausage risotto I make a lot.

These are approximates, so you can tweak as necessary.

1.5 cups of wheatberries
3 cups of water (to start) - you can use broth/stock if you've got it
3 Italian sausage- whatever is your favorite
turnip, 3 small chopped (that's the veg I had on hand)
sage- tsp
1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
garlic powder- tbs
salt & pepper
1/2 cup parmesan and more for top

*Feel free to change up the herbs/spices to your favorites.

Put water in large pot, add wheatberries, bring to boil. Once it comes to a boil, turn down so it simmers. The wheatberries take a longer time than rice, so simmer, stirring often and adding more liquid along the way as the water or broth is soaked up.  I'd say it took the wheatberries an hour to really cook.  Add garlic, sage, paprika, salt and pepper. As they are cooking, brown sausage, set on paper towels to absorb fat. Then cut into slices and add to pot about halfway through cooking process so it has time to flavor the pot.

Cut turnip into large cubes and throw into pot when it has about 25 minutes of cooking left, again making sure there is enough liquid too help in the cooking.

When stirring risotto, always use a wooden spoon and stir around the outside of the pot and turn it in. This helps break up the starch and bring out the creaminess in the rice or, in this case, wheatberries.  At end when turnip is cooked and wheatberries are 'al dente' and liquid is absorbed again, add parmesan and incorporate. Serve hot and top with a little parmesan.

We are liking the wheatberries. They're nearly like a little pearl of pasta when they're done. They didn't make for as creamy a risotto as I like, but it was good never the less. The aborrio rice makes for a very creamy risotto and the brown rice, as a healthier alternative, comes out pretty creamy too. Had I had more parm on hand I would have added a little more to add to the wheatberries' creamy factor.

A hearty dish for a windy, winter night by the fire.

Sunset Meadows

Gar braved the wind yesterday and took the hound over to the field for a walk. When I peaked out the window to see where they'd gone to, this is what was behind them as they made their way home.

I hope you enjoying your Sunday. I'm in the office again, but about to throw a laundry in the washer and put on a big pot of soup with a leftover hambone I froze. Being the 'gearhead' I am, I'm also awaiting the start of the Daytona 500 which is held up due to rain. Dang, I got a need for speed!

What's up in your corner of the world?

ciao for now,


  1. I've wanted to try wheatberries... Looks delicious Pam!

    1. Alicia, definitely worth a try. I bought them for first time at farmers market....always nice to find a new grain. :)

  2. It looks delicious! I'm a sucker for risotto, but have never tried to make it myself, yet :)

    1. hey k, if you haven't tried making risotto yourself i'd suggest you make it traditional first..........with the aborio. but then give the brown rice a try. if you do the wheatberries, a little extra cheese would probably help give it a creamier texture. still yummy though. AND be sure to use the wooden spoon, turning from outside edge of pot in. i think it's the secret.

  3. I haven't tried wheatberries. It looks really good!

    1. The things you find at farmers market Lynette! I wouldn't even have noticed them if I hadn't overheard the farmers talking to another customer.

  4. Looks delicious. Just tried making my first risotto tonight. it was okay, not as creamy though, as I thought it should be. I'll try again!


You comments make my day. Thanks for taking the time to visit Mercantile Muse and for commenting. I really appreciate it. ~Pam

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