Green Veggie Risotto
When was the last time you had risotto?
This recipe is random mostly because I wanted to use up what was on hand (as I so often do) blame it on the wine but also because I hadn’t made risotto in a long time.
In the past I made it using wild mushrooms and low-sodium chicken stock but this version is equally as yummy. Once plated I drizzle a bit of white truffle oil over top to further elevate the taste. For those who don’t like the taste of truffle you can drizzle a bit of plain or lemon flavoured olive oil instead. Sidenote: I usually don’t go for flavoured oils, however I found a great tasting stone-crushed olive & lemon oil product from Italy. The company is “Belazu” –it’s amazing.
For the wine I used a nice NZ sauvignon blanc but here’s the story: when having company over on Canada Day and knowing how quickly they go through wine I put a couple bottles of white wine in the freezer to get them cold quickly. Two days later I went to get something out of the freezer and Voilà..there was a forgotten extra bottle – frozen solid. Ahhh what a waste or so I thought. After researching what to do and finding many different suggestions I decided to leave it outside in a plastic bag just in case it exploded. So the next day it didn’t explode but there was only half a bottle left. Even unopened, it managed to seep through the twist top. Apparently you can drink wine that’s been frozen and thawed within a day or two. While it didn’t taste completely off, it didn’t taste quite so good either, therefore… not wanting to waste a good bottle of wine the risotto idea came about.
When making risotto you want to keep your eyes on the pan for the whole time – so whatever else you decide to serve alongside it should be easier to cook. I made baked salmon which was easier than having to watch the BBQ.
6 cups *vegetable broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 ½ cups Arborio rice (do not wash before; starch is needed here)
½ cup of dry white wine
¾ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Baby spinach leaves (approx. 3 cups; torn)
½ pound asparagus; cut into ¾-inch pieces
1 cup frozen peas
¼ freshly grated parmesan
*I use organic “better than bouillon” seasoned vegetable base (dissolve 6 tsps. of base to 6 cups of boiling water).
- Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the garlic + onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed. Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes. Careful not to let it dry out.
- Add the spinach and asparagus and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the frozen peas and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan and more broth if the risotto seems too thick.
Garnish with fresh chopped parsley, some lemon + cracked pepper.
Try drizzling a little white truffle oil over top. Enjoy!