Risotto Casserole


Ingredients

Roasted vegetables, such as:

  • 6 shitake mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced 1/1.5cm thick
  • 1/2 small (or 1 very small) butternut squash, diced into 1cm cubes
  • 1/2 bell pepper, diced
  • 5-10 spears asparagus
  • 1/4 head cauliflower, sliced into small medium-small florettes
  • 5 T balsamic vinegar
  • 1 T honey

Risotto:

  • 6 c vegetable broth
  • 2 T canola oil
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1/4 cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 T crumbled goat cheese

Pesto Sauce:

  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts, roasted
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Freshly ground salt and black pepper
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes, coarsely chopped

Directions

Roasted Veggies:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and line a roasting tray.
  2. Toss squash with honey and balsamic vinegar. Remove squash with a slotted spoon and place on roasting pan.
  3. Toss mushrooms, cauliflower, and zucchini in balsamic mixture, remove with slotted spoon, and place on roasting pan. Top all roasted vegetables with freshly cracked salt and pepper.
  4. Roast vegetables until tender. If they seem dry, add 1-2 teaspoons vegetable broth to pan.
  5. Toss bell pepper and asparagus with remaining balsamic mixture. Place on a lined roasting tray and broil until bell pepper blisters.
  6. Set aside and allow to cool.

Risotto:

  1. Heat oil on medium-high and sautee onions until golden.
  2. Add pearl barley and stir to toast the barley for a few minutes.
  3. Add wine and stir until absorbed.
  4. Gradually add broth, 1/2c at a time, while stirring constantly. Risotto should become thick and creamy.
  5. Once all broth is absorbed, allow to simmer on low until soft and creamy.
  6. Add ricotta, goat cheese, and salt & pepper to taste. Remove from heat and set aside.

Pesto:

  1. Put all ingredients except the parmesan into a blender and blend until smooth.
  2. Add parmesan and mix well.

Casserole:

  1. Preheat oven to 350.
  2. Add roasted vegetables to risotto and mix well.
  3. Place half the risotto mixture in a casserole dish. Spread half the sundried tomatoes around the casserole, and then top with half the pesto sauce.
  4. Put remaining risotto mixture on top of the pesto sauce. Layer again with the remaining sundried tomato and pesto sauce.
  5. Baked for 10 minutes uncovered, or until pesto sauce is toasted. [Original recipe says to bake covered for 25 minutes and then to remove cover for remaining 5 minutes.]

Notes for next time

  • it was very oily. Do not use all the pesto next time. Use 3/4 at most.