When prompted, I can really make a good dinner (Oven risotto with kale pesto)

I have a lot of blogs that I have followed for years.  Most of them I stumble upon and get obsessed with reading every day (like I hope everyone here is doing) and then it dies down (like I hope doesn't happen here).  I stumbled upon Jenny's Lark in a convoluted way.  My pal Chef Kelly was mentioned on her blog one time and his now ex wife put it on Facebook.  I clicked through to read the post and I was hooked.  Her writing was beautiful, and she did meal planning and talked about what they were eating for the week.  I am obsessed with all things food so I followed along.  I especially loved that she was a frequenter of farmers markets and CSA's like I used to be (and need to get back into.)

One day she decided to get rid of the food component and moved it over to a new site called Dinner Prompt.  I followed it for a bit.  The style of it wasn't as appealing to me as her original blog and we lost touch, Dinner Prompt and me.  I moved on to Pinterest for my food obession and blogs about fashion mostly after that as well.

Lo and behold one Sunday while meal planning with my three Erin Condren dashboards I had an overwhelming thought, I'm going to run out of things to cook one day.  That gave me anxiety and I just could not meal plan.  I poured myself some wine and calmed down and remembered Dinner Prompt.  And it was there when I needed it.

I stumbled across Kale Pesto Oven risotto first and it caught my attention. I have never made risotto because it seems so hard and time consuming.  After I mastered roux I figured I could do this!  I also bought a tomato to do the broiled tomatoes on the side, but totally forgot that's why I got it and made chicken instead.  I needed the protein, I did Pure Barre 7 days in a row!  The only thing I would go back and change is that I would leave out the big pieces of kale that are added at the end.  I think the pesto was enough kale for me, and I like kale.  This was very easy, but a little messy.  More of weekend meal than weeknight if you aren't like me and have plenty of free time on your hands. You could make it easier on yourself by substituting store bought pesto.  The risotto part was the easiest part!  Full recipe after the montage! Linking up Meal Plan Monday #102

The simple cast.  I ended up using chicken broth too because I had exactly two cups lying around.

Chop those onions real small.  This was a potent one, it even bothered me with my contacts in!
Seriously, I poured out the rest of the carton and this is what I had left! #winning
Cook these until they are translucent.
And do the same with the rice, although not until all is translucent, just some.
Add your broth.
Look, it just fits in the easy bake oven!
Add your garlic (I doubled of course) and walnuts to food processor
Pulse until it looks like grainy mustard
Add kale and other deliciousness to the processor and get to pestoing. 
But first, we take this beauty out of the oven and admire it.
Pesto is so easy to make sometimes, but the clean up is the problem!
I only added about 1/2 to 2/3 of the pesto.  And gasp!  Threw the rest away.
As usual on the blurry setting whilst stovetop!  Mix it together.
And plate!  So damn delicious.  And so was the chicken, just some Greek seasoning and garlic dressing just like I made here.
Oven Risotto With Kale Pesto (Adapted from Bon Appetit with a nudge from Dinner Prompt)
Serves 4


½ cup walnuts, coarsely chopped, divided
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup dry white wine
2 cups chicken broth (or water) heated
2 garlic cloves
1 cup (packed) fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
2 cups torn Tuscan kale leaves, divided
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about 2 cups)

Preheat oven to 350°. Toast walnuts on a rimmed baking sheet, tossing occasionally, until golden brown, 8–10 minutes. Let cool.  Meanwhile, heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large ovenproof saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and translucent, 5–8 minutes. Stir in rice; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, until some grains are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add wine, bring to a simmer, and cook until pan is almost dry, about 3 minutes. Add 2 cups very hot water (I used chicken broth here); season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer, cover, and bake in oven until liquid is mostly absorbed but rice is still starchy in the center, about 18 minutes (it should be undercooked).

Meanwhile, pulse garlic and toasted walnuts in a food processor until very finely ground. Add parsley, chives, half of kale, remaining 2 Tbsp. oil, and ¼ cup cold water; process until smooth; season pesto with salt and pepper.  Set saucepan over medium heat. Add ¾ cup very hot water and cook rice, stirring constantly, until it is tender but still has some bite and sauce is creamy, about 3 minutes. Stir in 1/2 to all of pesto, butter, three-quarters of Parmesan, and remaining kale. Adjust consistency with water, if needed; season with salt and pepper. Serve topped with parmesan cheese.

Happy Cooking!


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