photo (3)When I started “discovering” food, one of the dishes I really liked is risotto. Maybe because of my upbringing and because it is a rice dish. Over the years, I’ve made basic risotto with short grain rice and butter. But my favorite way to prepare risotto has always been with long grain rice, Parmesan and vegetables. And, I add extra vegetables. I usually serve risotto as a side dish. But, I always eat the leftovers as a main dish!

1 head garlic
2 1/2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 (14.5-ounce) cans chicken broth
3 cans water
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup frozen carrots and peas
1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 1/2 cups long-grain rice
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Slice the top off the head of garlic. Put it on a large square of aluminum foil and drizzle 1 teaspoon of the extra-virgin olive oil over the exposed cloves. Wrap the foil around and over the garlic. Roast until it is soft, about 50 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from the oven and let cool. Pour the 2 cans of broth into a  saucepan, over low heat, and add 3 cans of water. Bring to a simmer. In a large, heavy bottomed skillet, heat the remaining olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add the carrots, peas and mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and cook until the mushrooms release their juices, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute to toast. Add 2 ladles full of hot broth to the pan and gently stir the rice. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Adjust the heat so that the pan is just gently bubbling. Continue adding broth and stirring until all the broth is used and the rice is cooked but not mushy, about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the rice has absorbed all the liquid and is nice and creamy, stir in the butter, Parmesan and the garlic pulp. Cover and let rest for 2 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish and serve hot.