I love risotto, but to be honest, I seem to ruin most recipes I try. However, the version of this veggie risotto is the one exception. I found it in an old Williams Sonoma cookbook, and I haven't botched it once. This is my default dinner when I have vegetarians over. (I substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth in the ingredient list.)
You should DEFINITELY put this into your cooking rotation!
Here's what you need:
- 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
- 1 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 lb asparagus
- 1/2 - 1 cup additional assorted vegetables - mushrooms, squash, or peas
- 3- 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock)
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1/4 cups Arborio Rice (or other medium-grained white rice)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheeese
- Salt & Pepper to taste
THE most important thing to do with this recipe is to prep all of your ingredients in advance. This is called "mise en place" ("put in place") and since things come together quickly, don't skip this step. Here's what your work area should look likeNext, put the chicken stock in a small saucepan and heat to a simmer. You'll be adding the stock to the risotto as you go, so you want to maintain the temperature. (Otherwise the timing gets slow and the veggies mushy!) In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. When hot, add the onion (and mushrooms if using) and sauté until softened, about three minutes.Add the rice and stir until the kernels are coated with oil, about 2 minutes. Then add the wine and cook, stirring frequently until most of it has been absorbed, about three minutes.Reduce the heat to low and add the bell pepper and 1 cup of the hot stock. Cook (keep stirring - you'll be doing that non-stop at this point!) until most of the stock has been absorbed, about five minutes.Add the asparagus and any other veggies you're using along with another cup of stock and cook, stirring often, until most of the stock has been absorbed.Add the third cup of stock and stir until most of it has been absorbed and the risotto takes on a creamy texture. Test the rice and if it still is hard in the middle, add another 1/2 cup of stock. The total time of this back and forth between adding stock and reducing the liquid is about 25 minutes.
Stir in the Parmesan cheese. (So you know, the freshly grated kind is MUCH better, I just didn't want to make a run to the store to get it. Such is life!)Adjust the seasoning to your taste using salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve immediately and feel as if you're part Italian as you enjoy every last morsel!! Buon Appetito!