Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Risotto Primavera

Risotto is one of my favorite dishes to cook. It is impressive, yet deceptively simple to make, realy the secret to risotto is time and patience. Nothing more, nothing less. Check out my general risotto making tips, here.

This recipe appeared in the June 2010 issue of Cooking Light magazine. I changed up the cooking process a bit and of course I tossed the chicken broth out! This recipe could easily be made vegan by using a soy cheese in place of the parmesan or by leaving the cheese out all together. With the lemon juice and tomatoes added at the end of this dish I don't think you would even miss the parmesan cheese.

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 1/2 cups water
2 1/4 cups vegetable broth
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 cups frozen green peas
12 ounces asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 ounces grated parmesan cheese, divided
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Toss 1 1/2 teaspoons oil, 1/2 teaspoon salt and tomatoes together in baking dish. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes or until tomatoes have burst open and are blackened a bit. Remove from oven and set aside.
  3. Heat the water and broth together over medium heat in a sauce pan until warm. Do not boil and have this sauce pan near the burner where you will be making your risotto.
  4. Heat the reamining 1 1/2 teaspoon olive oil in a large sauce pan over medium heat. When the oil begins to shimmer add the shallot. Cook for about 3 minutes or until the shallots are beginning to be a little translucent. Do not let them burn. Add the rice and cook for about 1 minute or until the rice is every so translucent at the edges. Stir in the vinegar and stir constantly until the vinegar has been completely absorbed by the rice. From here you will begin adding your broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time. Do not add more broth mixture until the last addition has been completely absorbed by the rice. I liken it to the parting of the "Rice Sea". You want to run your spoon through the rice and you will see an opening for the escaping Isrealits, but you want it to close up quickly on the other end to trap the Pharohs armies. Please see the photograph in this post. The process of adding the broth and stirring and waiting will take anywhere from 20 to 30 minutes.
  5. Add the peas and asparagus to the last cup or so of broth. You can will continue to add the broth along with the vegetables to the risotto. But remember do not add more broth until the last portion is absorbed. Continue until all the broth is incorporated and all the vegetables have made it into the pot.
  6. Remove the risotto from the stove and add 1 ounce grated Parmesan cheese, 3/8 teaspoon salt, and the lemon juice.
  7. Spoon 1 3/4 cups of the risotto into each of the four serving bowls; and top evenly with tomatoes. Top each serving evenly with the remaining Parmesan cheese and black pepper.
  8. Serve warm.

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