You might have heard that risotto is hard to make—that's not true, as this creamy, rich version demonstrates perfectly. And with the alluring flavor of miso and a bit of spiciness from cayenne and paprika, it's really tasty. The chickpea crumble adds a crisp counterpoint to every bite, and is a protein-packed garnish you can use in many other dishes.

Serves 2


  • 1 can chickpeas
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion
  • 3/4 cups arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, or water
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne
  • 1/8 tsp. paprika
  • 2 packed cups baby-spinach leaves
  • 1 Tbsp. white miso past


    Heat oven to 400°. Rinse and drain the chickpeas in a colander; spread them onto a rimmed baking sheet. Sprinkle the chickpeas with salt and pepper, mash them lightly with a fork and drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil. Roast, turning with a spatula once or twice, until they're crisp and lightly browned, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Trim, peel and chop the onion. Put 2 cups hot tap water in a medium pot, or kettle, over medium-high heat. Put the remaining tablespoon oil in a medium skillet, or pot, over medium heat. When it's hot, add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally until they're soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

    Add the rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it's glossy and coated with oil, 2 or 3 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper and the 1/2 cup wine (or water). Stir frequently and let the liquid bubble away until it's almost evaporated.

    Begin to add the hot water from the pot 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition, and frequently, and adjusting the heat as necessary so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically without burning. When the water is just about evaporated, add another 1/2 cup; the mixture should be neither soupy nor dry. When the chickpeas are ready, sprinkle them with the cayenne and paprika and toss well.

    After about 15 minutes, begin tasting the rice; it should be tender but still have a tiny bit of crunch; it may take as long as 30 minutes to reach this stage. When it's ready, stir in the spinach and miso paste. Taste and adjust the seasoning. To serve, divide the risotto among shallow bowls and top with the crumbled chickpeas.

    The first Indian dish many of us non-Indians learn to cook is aloo paratha, the flatbread that incorporates spicy mashed potatoes (aloo). It's a beautiful dish, but not easy to make. This shortcut version substitutes whole wheat tortillas for homemade dough, so preparing it is as easy as making a quesadilla. We team it with a simple stew of tomato, eggplant and crunchy mustard seeds.

    Next Story