Gifts From the Kitchen

Every year I like to make something special to give as gifts. One year it was handmade truffles, another my favorite granola. Since I give these in bulk, I try not to make something too time consuming. This year I decided on Risotto. I filled a jar with rice and topped it with dried porcini mushrooms, some herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. It was really easy and quick to make. After layering everything in the jar and twisting on the lid, all I had to do was tie a pretty bow around it and my gift was finished.

One year I gave everyone a small jar of walnut pesto, another year I filled cellophane bags with spiced nuts. My favorite recipe for spiced nuts can be found on the Williams-Sonoma website. They are extremely popular and not only does my sister request the “Christmas nuts” every year, I also have to hide them after making them or else I’d never even get to enjoy some myself! I also highly recommend making your own spiced olives.

If you are more of a sweets person, make a huge batch of granola with your favorite nuts and dried fruit. Or make your own chocolate bark using your favorite toppings.

Have a quiet and peaceful holiday!

Risotto with dried mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes

  • 250 g risotto rice
  • 2 heaping tablespoons dried mushrooms (I used porcini)
  • 1 Tbs dried Italian herbs
  • 6-8 sun-dried tomato halves (NOT oil packed), cut into strips

Fill a 0.5 liter jar starting with the rice, followed by the mushrooms, herbs and top with the tomatoes.

Add a card telling the recipient to chop a small onion and a clove of garlic to a large skillet and lightly sautée them in a tablespoon of oil. Add the contents of the jar to the skillet and stir until the rice is lightly coated in oil. Add 100ml of white wine and simmer. Slowly add about 1 liter of vegetable broth a ladle at a time, stirring and waiting until the rice has soaked up the liquid before adding the next ladle of broth. When the rice is soft add some grated Parmesan to pull it all together. Serve with some more grated cheese.

Each jar serves 3-4 people, depending on if you’re serving the rice as a main course with some salad or as a side dish.

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