Risotto is an Italian dish. You can add any vegetable, fish or meat you may like. Once you have the basic recipe understand, change it to be your personal recipe. While typically, other rice dishes you prepare you’d never stir, this one you need to stir continually for the creamy finished dish. Of all the rice-based foods out there, risotto might just be one of our favorites–especially when we’re showcasing spring produce. When done right, risotto is rich without being heavy, with al dente rice, a rainbow of seasonal vegetables, a shower of fresh herbs, all christened with a blanket of Parmesan.
- 1 yellow summer squash sliced
- 2 ounce snow peas trimmed
- 1 cups onion chopped
- 1 pound asparagus tips only, save the rest for broth
- 2 plum tomatoes diced
- 1 1/2 cups spinach chopped
- 3 ounce Fontina cheese or Parmesan Cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups Arborio Rice
- salt and pepper taste
- 5 cups water or broth
- 1 cups dry white wine
Cut the squash in half lengthwise, then into 1/4 inch thick slices. Cut snow peas in half. Chop onions. Trim asparagus, use the tips, about the 3 three inches of each and save the remainder for other use. Chop tomatoes and remove some of the juice. Chop the spinach. Set aside all of the vegetables. They will be added in stages to the risotto.
In a separate pan heat broth and wine to hot, not boiling, keep hot.
Heat your large pot and heat oil, add the onions, then add the rice and saute, stirring for another 5 minutes, add onions sauté until soft about 3 to 5 minutes. Make sure all the rice is nicely toasted. Make sure all the rice is nicely toasted, now add the squash and saute. Add1/3 cup at a time the broth and stir till it evaporates completely, about 5 minutes, before moving to the next step,
This creates the desired creamy starch. Keep stock at a simmer in a small pan so everything stays hot and cooks evenly. Slowly add broth. Wait until the rice absorbs almost all of the broth before you add more. Remember the ratio--about 4 cups of stock for every cup of arborio rice. Stir and allow it to simmer for about 15 minutes. Stir often, but it is not necessary to stir continually.
With Risotto, the rice should be al dente--just cooked, with a little bite to it. If you can mold a risotto into a shape it is over cooked. Risotto should have body, but not be overly mushy and starchy.
Add the remaining vegetables into your risotto after the rice is almost finished cooking. This is especially important for tender greens like spinach, delicate herbs like chives, lemon zest, and veggies like asparagus, mushrooms, legumes.Add the spinach the snow peas, asparagus and tomatoes and cheese and a little butter. Continue cooking until liquid is almost all absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Take the rice off the heat when the rice grains are still a bit al dente and let it rest, without stirring. This allows the temperature to come down and the flavors to meld. Serve.
Cranberry Risotto: Add 1/2 cup dried cranberries with the garlic and squash.
Substitute one cup barley for the arborio rice and use one additional cup of stock. Barley has a nuttier taste and a less creamy texture than rice.
Indian-Spiced Risotto with Shrimp:
Add one teaspoon cumin, 2 teaspoons curry powder, and 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes. When the rice is about two-thirds done, add 1 1/2 pounds medium-size peeled and deveined shrimp. Continue cooking until the rice and shrimp are cooked through. Finally, substitute 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro for the sage, omit the Gorgonzola, and increase the amount of butter to 4 tablespoons.
Risotto with Mushrooms:
Add 1 ounce dried mushrooms. Soak mushroom until soft in hot water about 1 hour. Chop and add to the onion section of preparation.
Arancini or Rice Balls
This is great for left over risotto and form into balls, fill the center with cheese or a meatball. roll in toasted bread crumbs. Heat in a skillet with some oil. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce.
Required Equipment 2 pots French knife Bowl for serving Wooden spoon for stirring