I can't say for sure that risotto in France is bad. I have never eaten risotto at a restaurant here so I have no opinion on the matter. Either way, I took her advice and added broth to my risotto au fur et à mesure, a little at a time, and the result was lovely. Risotto made correctly becomes almost creamy and silken, while still maintaining a certain firmness thanks to the arborio rice. I thought about adding chopped and fried shallots as a garnish, but I decided ultimately on using a fingerling potato, since it provides a little more substance. You, dear reader, can add whatever you would like to top the risotto!
Truthfully, I also decided to make this because I have a giant box of arborio rice that has been resting in my kitchen for about 5 months now, and I'm just starting to make a dent in it. Since I also had parmesan in my fridge, I figured why not, let's try out this risotto with some seasonal cauliflower. So, here is the final product of my creation, which I devoured immediately after taking these photos, and although I don't say it often, I was pretty impressed with myself. If you try this, I guarantee you will have good results, it is pretty difficult to botch this one up. The recipe is relatively quick (maybe 35 minutes total, plus some chopping) and all the fun takes place in two pans (one for the broth, one for the risotto). You have to watch the risotto carefully since you'll be adding broth over time, but it is kind of fun to see how the rice changes and eventually reaches the perfect level of softness.
This recipe calls for 1/2 of a head of cauliflower; the other 1/2 you can store in the fridge for up to 1 or 2 weeks. You can use it to make cauliflower in a spicy peanut sauce, or try simmering it in some milk until tender, then pureeing it for a nice winter white soup.