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Caramelized Onion Risotto

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"Onions are often used in risotto, but not usually as the main ingredient. In this soothing dish, you get a bite of beautifully browned, sweet, soft caramelized onions in every forkful. Aged Gouda gives this risotto a slightly toasty butterscotch flavor, but the more traditional parmigiano - reggiano is also delicious."


3 Tablespoons Arbequina Extra Virgin Olive Oil 

2 pounds yellow onions ( about 4 medium), halved through the root and thinly sliced lengthwise

Kosher salt 

4 cups low sodium chicken broth 

2 oz ( 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter

1 1/2 cups Arborio rice 

1/2 cup dry white wine such as Sauvignon blanc

1 oz finely grated Gouda cheese or Parmigiano - Reggiano (1 cup of a rasp grater)

Fresh ground pepper


Heat the oil in a 5 quart dutch oven or other heavy duty pot over medium - high heat until shimmering hot. Add the onions and reduce the heat to medium. Cook without stirring until the bottom of the pot begins to brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp. salt and stir with a wooden spatula. Continue to cook, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot frequently and adjusting the heat as necessary, until the onions are well browned, 20 - 30 minutes. 

Meanwhile, in a 3 quart saucepan, combine broth with 2 cups water and set over medium heat until steaming hot. 

Transfer the onions to a small bowl, cover, and keep warm. Add about 1/2 cup of the broth mixture to the pot. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula until any stuck on bits are released. Pour the liquid back into the broth mixture. Wipe out the pot. 

Melt 2 Tablespoons of the butter in the pot over medium heat. Add the rice and cook, stirring gently, until glossy and translucent around the edges, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Ladle enough broth over the rice to just cover (about 1/2 cup) and simmer, stirring often, until most of the broth has been absorbed (test by running a spoon through the rice; no broth should pool on the pot bottom). Continue to add the broth in this manner, stirring often, until the rice is tender but still has some resistance when you bite into it. This takes about 20 - 30 minutes, you may not use all of the broth. 

Stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons butter, cheese and all but 1/3 cup onions. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately, topping with onions.