This risotto is my slightly adapted version of the Brown rice risotto in Christina Pirello´s cookbook Cooking the Whole Foods Way. It´s one of the best brown rice dishes I´ve EVER tasted and that´s quite something! So rich and creamy that nobody will miss the white rice usually associated with Italian risotto.
First soak one and a half cups of brown rice (the recipe calls for medium-grain but I used short-grain) for 6-8 hours. Drain and rinse well. In a stainless steel pot with a heavy bottom, heat one teaspoon of olive oil, add rice and stir to coat all the rice with oil. Add a pinch of salt, 1/4 cup of mirin and 3/4 cup of water. Cover pot with a lid and cook on a medium flame until liquid absorbs, stirring at times. As soon as the liquid disappears, stir in minced garlic (2 to 3 cloves) and one small minced onion.
Meanwhile prepare your vegetable stock (5 cups), in case you don´t already have some saved. You can either make a stock from sliced vegetables which you strain after some time of cooking or you can use a vegetable bouillon cube/powder. I used a powder made of various dried and crushed root vegetables. I also mixed in two teaspoons of diluted barley miso, for 5 cups of liquid, and let it simmer for about five minutes. Christina doesn´t use miso in her recipe but I found it being very flavourful.
Once the onion and garlic are mixed through your rice, add half a cup of stock, cover again and cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking this way, adding always half a cup of stock at a time. And keep stirring…It will take 45 to 60 minutes depending on various factors, mostly probably on the type of rice you choose (short-grain cooks longest). The rice should get very creamy and tender.
Towards the end, sautee some sliced leek and carrot on a teaspoon of olive oil with a pinch of salt. When your rice is ready, stir them in. I topped the risotto with minced fresh basil leaves.