Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

I found this recipe in the recent Cooking Light and it was fantastic. A perfect summer risotto, filled with veggies so it doesn't sit heavily in your tummy. It was also pretty easy to make and the ingredients are available in any grocery store this time of year. I was telling my mom about it last night and she squealed and said "Oooo! I saw it too and got the ingredients in the store today!". Clearly it has mass appeal. While it wasn't bf's favorite risotto of mine (as he said, it doesn't have bacon or ham), he still really liked it even though it has lemon in it. I highly suggest giving it a try.

Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto
from Cooking Light

  • 8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
  • 4 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
 One of the great things about this recipe is that you can do it in stages. I know that I would be getting home last tonight, so when I had 15 minutes yesterday afternoon, I prepared the veggies (yes that's my iphone in the picture, naughty me- I listen to Pandora when I cook). Anyway, I started by chopping the sugar snap peas in half and slicing the asparagus into 1-1.5 inch pieces. I then added the asparagus to the boiling water and two minutes later added the sugar snap peas. After the peas has been in for about 3 minutes and the asparagus 5 minutes, I poured them into a strainer and doused with cold water to stop the cooking.

 While the peas and asparagus were cooking, I sliced the zucchini and yellow squash (length-wise then into small pieces). I heated up a few teaspoons of olive oil, then added the squash. Turning and stirring every minute or so, I cooked the squash for about 7 minutes, or until the pieces were turning nice and golden brown. I then set the pan aside (and covered until I was ready to start cooking again).

 I had also chopped the shallots ahead of time, so when I returned home, I was able to quickly heat up the remaining olive oil and start cooking. I cooked the shallots for about 3 minutes, or until just starting to brown and tender.
 Next, I added the rice and cooked for about a minute. Then, I poured in the white wine and let the whole thing simmer until the wine was absorbed (about 45 seconds).
Then, I added a cup of chicken stock (heating up in a pan on the side) and stirred and stirred and stirred until it was almost completely absorbed. I kept adding 1/2 cup fulls after that, stirring until it was incorporated, and repeating until their was only 1/4 cup left of broth and the risotto was nice and creamy and expanded (forgot to take a picture before I added the veggies, sorry!). Just know you want the rice to be at a nice simmer and when it's done it will be tender to the bite and it looks like it's covered in cream. Once my rice reached this point, I added the veggies and cooked for a few minutes until everything was hot.

I then added the remaining broth, butter, salt, lemon juice, lemon peel and Parmesan. I left out the chives because I didn't have any and didn't notice any absence of flavor. I then cooked the whole thing for another minute until the cheese was melted and broth and butter incorporated. Then I served two gigantic, steaming bowls and we dove in. Super delicious!

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