Adapted from Seriously Simple Parties by Diane Rossen Worthington
I have always loved risotto. Arborio rice is delicious on its own but the creamy texture of risotto with the add-ins makes a perfect meal. My mom always made a mushroom risotto with some bacon and mushrooms, of course. What I really liked about this recipe was that it was vegetarian and had a great variety of vegetables. Another very successful dinner.
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 1 lb yellow and Green zucchini, cut into ½-inch dice
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into ½-inch dice
- Pinch of salt
- Black pepper, to taste
- 5 cups vegetable broth
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 ½ cups Arborio rice, uncooked
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp finely chopped fresh basil
- ½ cup freshly grated Parmesan
- In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until softened and lightly browned.
- Reduce the heat to medium. Add the zucchini and sauté for about 3 to 5 minutes until the squash is lightly browned and well coated with the oil. Add the bell pepper and sauté for another 3 minutes until slightly softened. Cover and cook for 4 more minutes until the pepper begins to wilt, stirring once or twice. Uncover, increase the heat to medium-high and cook until the liquid has evaporated, about 1 more minute. Season with salt and pepper, remove from the heat and set aside.
- Place the broth and wine in a large glass measuring cup or bowl and microwave on high for 2 minutes. You may also place them in a saucepan and bring them to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- In a heavy pot, heat the remaining oil over medium heat. Add the rice and stir well, making sure that all the grains are well coated. Pour in ½ cup of the hot broth and sitr, using a wooden spoon, until all the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the broth, ½ cup at a time, making sure the rice has absorbed the broth before adding more, and stirring constantly so the rice doesn’t burn or stick. (It takes about 3 to 5 minutes for the rice to absorb each addition of broth).
- When you add the last ½ cup of broth, add the vegetable mixture with it, reduce the heat to low and cook for 2 more minutes. Remove from the heat and add the chopped parsley, the basil and the Parmesan cheese; stir well to blend with the rice.
- Serve immediately. Spoon the risotto into shallow serving bowls. You may garnish with parsley and basil leaves and have extra Parmesan available.
Comments: What really surprised me, in a good way, was how creamy this risotto turned out. The one my mom always made had some cream, but this one has none. Nonetheless, as you continue to add more broth, the texture of the rice becomes creamier and creamier. My main suggestion is that you have all your ingredients ready to add beforehand. This recipe is not hard, but you do need to be on top of the rice at all times. Therefore, it’s easier to have everything ready. Some other Italian rice types the book suggests are Carnaroli and Vialone Nano. You may also want to test this recipe out with other vegetables, like carrots, Swiss chard and tomatoes, or other cheeses, like Asiago, Manchego or goat cheese.