After months of content, you’re probably aware that I’m not always so big on recipes (the exception being, of course, baked goods…I have no faith in my ability to create cake from scratch).  I have a tendency to sort of get an idea in my head, assume I know how to execute it (based on, well, nothing), and just…wing it.  Suffice it to say that this does not always lead to success.  Fortunately, sometimes I get lucky.

Such was the case with this risotto, which is possibly the ugliest thing I’ve made in recent memory, but also one of the most delicious.  I understand that this probably isn’t a risotto in the traditional sense – I made it with brown rice (which I love for its nutty chewiness) instead of white, and I’m sure that the liquid-to-rice ratio is not as it should be.  That said, it yielded a healthy dish that tastes anything but – creamy, decadent rice with the sharp bite of parmesan against the buttery background of slowly cooked onions and garlic.  And that, my friends, is the kind of nutritious meal I’d eat every single day of the week.

Red Wine Risotto

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp butter

1/2 small onion, diced

1/2 tsp garlic, minced

2-3 sprigs of thyme leaves, removed from stems

1 cup brown rice

1/4 cup bulgur

1/4 cup red wine

2 – 3 cups beef stock

1/4 cup chopped walnuts

1/4-1/2 cup chopped (fresh or frozen) spinach

1/2 cup diced eggplant

Salt and pepper, to taste

Grated parmesan cheese, for garnish

In a skillet over medium heat, heat the oil and butter.  Add onion and garlic, and cook (stirring occasionally) until onions are translucent.  Add thyme and 1 cup beef broth, using a rubber spatula to deglaze the bottom of the pan.  Add brown rice and bulgur, and turn the heat to medium low.  Add red wine and eggplant.  Cook slowly, stirring constantly, and adding more broth as the mixture dries out.  When the rice is nearly cooked through, add the spinach and nuts to heat through.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately, garnished with grated parmesan