Homemade Herbal Gift Ideas: Risotto in a Jar

This homemade gift comes with everything you need for a rich, saffron-seasoned meal.

| December/January 2000

  • Homemade gifts are a great way to give something unique to your loved ones without breaking your budget.
    Photo by Anybody Goes


Risotto is a creamy rice often misunderstood by Americans, who generally believe that rice is meant to be fluffy. This risotto mix can be prepared in a standard microwave oven. Times may need to be adjusted for very low- or high-power microwaves.

• 1/4 teaspoon (or more) saffron (thread or powdered)
• 2 tablespoons dehydrated onion
• 2 tablespoons instant chicken, beef, or mushroom bouillon
• 1 cup raw arborio or sushi rice
• 2 tablespoons shelf-stable Parmesan cheese (the kind that does not need to be refrigerated)

1. Put the parmesan in a small plastic bag. 2. Combine the saffron, dehydrated onion, bouillon, and half the rice in a plastic bag; shake. 3. Put the bag of parmesan on top of the rice in a glass jar and cap. 4. Put a square of cloth over the top and secure with a rubber band. Keep refrigerated; use within 3 weeks.

To prepare:

• contents of jar
• 1 tablespoon cold-pressed olive oil
• 3 1/8 cups water

1. Stir the rice mixture and oil together in a tall, 2-quart glass bowl. 2. Microwave on high, uncovered, for two minutes. 3. Add the water. Microwave for another 18 minutes, stirring after 9 minutes. 4. Cover with a lid and let rest for 5 minutes. 5. Stir in the cheese. Let rest another 5 minutes before serving.

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