Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Five-Grain Risotto with Broccolini and Brussels Sprouts

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Five-Grain Risotto with Broccolini and Brussels Sprouts

Article excerpt

The first time I ate at Mintwood Place, shortly after it opened in 2012 in Washington, I couldn't resist ordering the mysterious vegetarian option listed on the menu as little more than "ask us, and we'll come up with something." What chef Cedric Maupillier sent out was a bowl of broccolini and brussels sprouts, both caramelized to the point of being almost charred from the wood oven. Nice enough.

Then I tucked in, and underneath them was a multi-textured risotto, creamy but with pleasant little nuggets of chewiness here and there, deeply flavored of vegetables and a whisper of miso. I hounded the chef for the recipe and then set to work cutting it down to size.

My favorite part: Unlike with a traditional risotto, there's no slow absorption of broth into rice, no constant stirring. And if you have leftovers, they reheat so well (with a little splash of water to loosen them up) that they are virtually unchanged from one day to another.

Mr. Maupillier changes the toppings to match the season (these days it's winter squash and mushrooms, as pictured), and you should feel free to do the same: Asparagus, green beans, turnips, mushrooms, leafy greens and others would all be at home atop this earthy cushion.

FIVE-GRAIN RISOTTO WITH BROCCOLINI AND BRUSSELS SPROUTS

4 servings

Ingredients

5 cups no-salt-added vegetable broth, preferably homemade

1/4 cup white miso

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 medium onion, cut into 1/4-inch dice

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 cup farro

1/4 cup wheat berries

1/4 cup pearled barley

1/4 cup buckwheat groats

1/4 cup bulgur

1/4 cup mirin

8 ounces brussels sprouts (bottoms trimmed), each cut in half

1 pound broccolini (2 small bunches), stem ends trimmed

1/4 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (may substitute nutritional yeast to make the dish vegan)

Sea salt (optional)

Steps

Bring the broth to a boil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat as needed so the broth is barely bubbling. …

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