I have been trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet. It is funny because both Cliff and I love vegetables but we don’t eat nearly enough. Every Sunday I go to the grocery store and load up on produce. But often times it just ends up sitting in the vegetable drawer. Often times, I am just too lazy to cook the vegetables and we will have raw vegetables with ranch dressing for dinner. That is ok, but I do like my vegetables cooked sometimes! So at the end of the week when I have a little bit of a whole bunch of vegetables left, I like to make risotto primavera. It is a great way to use up vegetables before they go bad. Cliff and I also like to eat a meatless dinner once a week. But we still like hearty meals. Again, this risotto is perfect.
Usually when I make risotto it is full of cheese and cream. Not the healthiest option out there. Tasty? Yes. Healthy? Not so much. But honestly, I am just not willing to go without risotto. I love it too much. So instead I load it with vegetables. I use 3 times the amount of vegetables as I do uncooked rice. I add no cream, and a very minimal amount of cheese. For us it is a good compromise. It is a filling meal for us and we get tons of vegetables. The best part is that it tastes just as yummy as my cream and cheese filled risotto. If you have never had risotto, then this is a perfect version for you to try. It is easy to adapt using your favorite vegetables. I think zucchini, spinach, grean beans, asparagus, and pearl onions would work really well. Let me know what combinations you come up with!
1 cup Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
3 cups low sodium chicken broth
2 cloves of garlic, minced
½ shallot, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
3 cups vegetables (I used mushrooms, carrots, broccoli, cauliflower, and frozen peas)
¼ cup Romano cheese, grated
salt and pepper
Chop vegetables into bite sized pieces. If using frozen peas, keep them in the freezer until the risotto is ready. Sauté the vegetables with the olive oil. You do not want to cook the vegetables all the way through. Just soften them slightly, about 4 minutes. Set aside. Melt 1 tablespoon of butter over medium high heat. Add the garlic and shallot. Sauté until fragrant. Add the rice and let toast a little. Add 1 cup of white wine. Once the rice has absorbed the wine begin adding the chicken broth ½ a cup at a time. Each time allow the rice to absorb the liquid. Stir almost constantly. Once you have added all 3 cups of chicken broth, taste the rice. You want the rice to be soft with just a slight bite to it. If it is too al dente add ½ a cup of broth and allow to absorb. The rice should be soft and creamy by now. Remove the rice from the heat. Add ¼ cup of grated Romano cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Add the vegetables to the pot. If you are using frozen peas, add them now. Mix well and serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from Pioneer Woman