Daring Cooks Challenge: Risotto (w/ Homemade Vegetable Stock)

I may just have a new favorite comfort food.

It used to be baked macaroni & cheese before I had to become gluten & dairy free. I hadn’t been able to find something to replace it…until now! The host of this month’s Daring Cooks Challenge called it a comfort food but I was skeptical. I mean, rice as a comfort food?

So last week, I made risotto for the first time, and it was a-mazing. So creamy, succulent, ridiculously satisfying. The best part is, it’s easily made dairy free, and rice is always gluten free! Delirious happiness is putting it mildly.

The challenge was to make not only risotto, but also your own stock for it! I made vegetarian rather than chicken stock since I made extra to use at a later time. It’s really easy–throw a whole bunch of vegetables in a pot (I sauted the onions and garlic first), add 8-12 cups of water, then let it simmer until it has reduced at least by half; I reduced it to 1/3 the original amount of liquid for a super concentrated flavor.

I kept my stock flavors really simple because I like to do a lot with flavor when I’m using it for other things–just a mirepoix, water, salt, pepper, & 2 bay leaves. A lot of stock recipes say to discard the leftover veggies, but they served as a delicious snack for me 🙂 I used most of my stock, but I would have stored the remainder in 1-cup servings (either in a container or freezer ziploc bag) in the freezer.

Now the risotto. I was a little intimidated but it’s actually not that bad! You just need to be careful about adding the liquid a bit at a time, and then waiting until it is absorbed to add more. I can’t eat dairy so I didn’t use butter, but it still came out nice and creamy. I think I shall be making risotto more often 🙂

The 2010 March Daring Cooks challenge was hosted by Eleanor of MelbournefoodGeek and Jess of Jessthebaker. They chose to challenge Daring Cooks to make risotto. The various components of their challenge recipe are based on input from the Australian Masterchef cookbook and the cookbook Moorish by Greg Malouf.

Homemade Vegetable Stock


4 tsp vegetable oil
4 small onions, chopped
6 garlic cloves, cracked and peeled
4 carrots, scrubbed and cut into chunks
3 celery stalks, cut into chunks
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 bay leaves
12 cups water


  1. Heat oil in a large stock pot and saute onions and garlic until soft, 5-6 minutes. Add carrots and celery and cook 4 minutes more.
  2. Add remaining ingredients, bring to a boil, then turn down and simmer for 2-3 hours or until liquid has reduced by at least one half.
  3. Pour through a fine sieve to strain out any vegetable pieces. Store stock in the fridge up to a week, in the freezer pretty much indefinitely 🙂

Vegan Onion Risotto


1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock
salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat oil in dutch oven. Over medium flame cook onions until soft and translucent.
  2. Add rice and brown 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add white wine, stirring to combine. Allow a low simmer, stirring occasionally until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add remaining liquid 3/4 cup at a time, waiting until it has been absorbed to add more.

Note: I liked the creaminess of the risotto; if you like it dryer, add less liquid; creamier, add more!

The cost:
veggies: leftover, or about 5.00 to buy new
rice: 5.99
onion: .35

Grand total: $11.34; serves 4

Join the Conversation


  1. this looks really good! I'm always worried about risotto… I have never tried to make it before, it scares me! haha

  2. I was really scared too (I mean, didn't someone get kicked off Top Chef for making bad risotto?) but it came out so good! It's totally worth at least trying.

  3. I agree with risotto being a comfort food. SO good. I love mushroom risotto. I also had a squash risotto once that was delicious. I have never made it because it seems intimidating, but my husband is really good at it. I guess I will have to try it.

    Also, Rella thanks for the passover Quinoa recipe. Very excited to give that to my mom to try to make this year!

  4. One of the creamiest looking risottos in the challenge and your stock looks wonderful too! Nicely done!!

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