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Sweet risotto is simply, subtly flavored

Associated Press

A sweet risotto can be the most divine rice pudding.

"It's very immediate, very simple," says Regan Daley, author of "In the Sweet Kitchen."

Warm sweet risotto

3/4 cup arborio rice (short-grain rice)

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2 1/2 to 3 cups whole milk (do not substitute low-fat or skim milk)

1/2 cup granulated sugar

3/4 teaspoon finely grated orange zest

1 plump vanilla bean, scraped out (use both seeds and hull)

Pinch saffron threads

1/2 cup plump dried sweet cherries, such as Bing

In heavy-bottomed, 2-quart saucepan, combine all of the ingredients save the cherries. Place the pot over medium-low heat and stir until bubbles break the surface. Reduce heat to keep mixture at a gentle simmer. Cook for 30 to 40 minutes, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the pudding is thick and creamy, and the rice is tender and soft. Add cherries during final 5 minutes of cooking, then serve the pudding immediately in warmed shallow bowls. Makes 4 servings.

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