eep! my first recipe! a couple of weeks ago i made a ‘more veg than risotto’ to try and clear out some of the over abundance of veggies we’d picked up at the farmers market, and to use up the tiny bit of arborio rice in the pantry. i posted a picture on instagram, and got two requests for the recipe. for me, that is a positive stampede!
maybe you all have made risotto forever and are super used to it, but i really only started this year, and i was intimidated by it’s high-maintenance reputation. but it’s not hard at all. arborio rice is the usual base for risotto, a highly absorbent rice that requires not infrequent stirring. the other base elements, as far as i can tell, are onion, a little bit of white wine, and some variety of broth, heated separately, and added a few spoonfuls at a time until it absorbs. that’s it! after this, practically any variation is possible!
the cast of characters:
more veg than risotto
yields approximately 4 servings
1 quart vegetable broth
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 red onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup Arborio rice
¼ cup white wine
1 ½ cup chopped carrot (2 of my mutant huge carrots, probably 3 more normally sized ones)
1 cup chopped green beans
½ yellow squash, 1 ½ cups chopped combined zuccini and squash
1 cup sliced mini bell peppers
1 cup halved cherry or grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon butter
¼ cup parmesan cheese, additional parmesan for a garnish
salt and pepper to taste
on one burner, heat a good amount of the vegetable broth in a saucepan to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer. i used about 3/4 of the quart.
on another burner, heat a medium sized (i used a 3.5 quart) pot over medium flame. add olive oil. chop onion and garlic, add to pot. cook until softened, 3-5 minutes. add arborio rice, cook, stirring until well coated, 1-2 minutes. add wine, cook, stirring until absorbed, about 1 minute.
add a cup of vegetable broth to the rice, stir to combine, and cook a few minutes to absorb. continue adding broth, a few spoonfuls at a time, waiting until it’s absorbed before adding the next, stirring occasionally.
in between cupfuls of the broth, chop and add vegetables. i added them in approximate order of density/cooking time. first carrots, then greens beans. zuccini and squash went in at the same time. sliced peppers and lastly the halved tomatoes.
cook until rice is creamy and just tender, maybe 45 minutes. feel free to test it as you go! when the risotto is cooked, remove pan from heat. add butter, stirring until it’s melted and distributed, and add parmesan, stirring to combine. serve immediately! (risotto thickens as it cools)
garnish with salt and pepper to taste, and additional parmesan, if you feel as strongly about cheese as i do.
for the most authentic experience, put on the shins wincing the night away, pour yourself (and your cooking partner) some wine, utilize dance moves that you never would in public, and possibly try to convince your kitty to dance. do not be surprised if your kitty is not having it. at all. but if you give her chin scratches and pet her nicely, she’ll forgive you quite quickly.
my family encourages use of butter, and my personal desires never resist the allure of cheese, but exclusion of these would yield a very tasty vegan dish. if your desires lean the opposite way, chicken broth instead of vegetable broth is delicious. and i bet a 1/4 lb of italian sausage (casings removed), browned at the beginning with the onion, would be excellent!
if you try this, let me know how it turns out! what are your favorite risotto ingredients?