Read more about hearty vegetable-based fare in "Where the Vegetables are the Stars."
The gorgeous gold and orange colors in this celebration of carrots—oneof the symbolic vegetables on the Rosh Hashanah table—are reminiscent of sunshine and coins, and therefore of good fortune. Amanda Cohen writes, “A lot of what folks consider the taste of a vegetable is really its texture. Remove the texture, and your tongue gets confused. This risotto is all about changing the texture of a vegetable to see how that changes its taste.” A tangle of crunchy carrot ribbons add a lovely dimension and are easy to make, but you can simplify preparations by substituting store-bought carrot chips.
For a dairy-free or vegan meal, omit the butter and Parmesan.
For the carrot stock
- 4 cups sliced carrots
- 1 cup roughly chopped onion
- 3 garlic cloves, chopped
- 1 cup sliced celery
- For the carrot ribbons
- 2 carrots
- ½ cup cornstarch
- Canola oil for deep frying
For the risotto
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- 2 cups arborio rice
- ⅓ cup white wine
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 cup carrot juice
- ¼ cup diced carrot
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 5 tablespoons grated Parmesan, optional
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
Make the Carrot Stock
Put all of the ingredients in a large pot with 8 cups of water. Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain and let cool. Freeze for up to three months or store in the fridge for up to one week. (Makes 6 cups.)
Prepare the carrot ribbons
Use a vegetable peeler to make ribbons from the carrots. Toss them in cornstarch, and deep-fry them quickly, just until they hold their shape. (The ribbons can be served at room temperature.)
Make the risotto
In a small pot over medium heat, simmer the Carrot Stock.
In another pan, warm the oil over medium heat. Drop in a single bit of diced onion and when it starts to sizzle, the oil is ready. Add the rest of the onions, and cook, stirring, until translucent. Add the garlic, and cook, stirring, until garlic is very soft. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it’s translucent, about 7 minutes.
Add the wine and stir until it has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice and stir until it, too, has evaporated, about 1 minute.
Add 1 cup of the simmering Carrot Stock to the hot rice (both need to be the same temperature). Stir until it’s absorbed, about 5 minutes. Continue adding stock 1 cup at a time and stirring until it’s absorbed. When you have 2 cups stock left, pour the carrot juice into the simmering stock, and let it come back up to a simmer. Add 1 cup of the stock-juice mixture to the rice and cook until it’s absorbed. Add the diced carrots to the rice, and then add the last 2 cups stock, 1 cup at a time.
When the rice looks wet and juicy, but there’s no liquid sloshing around, add the butter, 3 tablespoons Parmesan (if using), thyme, and salt to taste; stir until the butter is melted. Divide among 4 plates.
To serve, sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan and top with the carrot ribbons.