Vegetables Every Day

Vegetables Every Day
Carrot Tarator with Beets

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Risotto

We are back from Italy, we really had a wonderful trip.  Will have some pictures, along with a short synopsis of the trip posted soon.  But I thought I would start with this recipe, since our trip was book-ended with Risotto, first at an outside cafĂ© in Venice (where it was simply done with shrimp and zucchini), and last as one course of the final dinner for our cooking school (where it was elegantly done with squash blossoms and pecorino cheese).  I’m now pretty confident my risotto is authentic, and adjustable as desired for what is fresh and in season.. and great as we start to get a little cooler weather for fall.

Risotto


This does call for very good chicken broth, I usually use homemade.  If not, make sure to use a high quality, low salt broth, such as Pacific Organic (use 1 quart, and dilute with a bit of water to get the extra ½ cup).
In Italy, we had once with Shrimp (small pieces) and zucchini (which was cut very small), the other had zucchini squash blossoms with pecorino cheese (sheep’s milk) instead of parmesan. 

Serves 4

4 ½ cups chicken broth
1 cup minced onion
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
½ cup white wine
2 cups vegetable  (asparagus, winter squash, mushrooms, etc)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
¼ cup parmesan cheese
Fresh herbs

In small saucepan, heat broth to just below a simmer.  In medium heavy saucepan, sautĂ© the onions in the oil for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. 

Using a wooden spoon to avoid breaking the grains, add the rice and stir until it is well coated with oil.  Add the wine. When it is absorbed (it won’t take long) ladle in the ½ cup of the hot stock stirring frequently until the rice has absorbed the liquid. The heat should be at a low boil.  Continue to add ½ cup at a time, for 2 –3 minutes between each addition, until a about half the broth has been used.

Add the vegetables. Continue adding ½ cup of broth every few minutes for about 10 minutes, stirring often, until the rice is tender but firm (most all of the stock will be used). The consistency should be creamy, not dry or soupy.   Remove from heat, stir in the nutmeg and cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste (it might not need any salt, depends on the broth, also the cheese is salty) and serve.  If desired, finish with some finely chopped fresh herbs, such as thyme, parsley, and / or chives.

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