Risotto is one of those dishes that takes forever to make, and, unfortunately, there is no shortcut around the method. While I personally equate this to a kind of yoga, I completely understand that not everyone wants to stand in the kitchen pouring and stirring constantly, for thirty minutes straight. However, if you ask me, the end result is worth it! So, if you're going to make any risotto at all, let it be one that has intense flavors, and is creamy to the last bite...like this one. Earthy farmer's market flavors abound in this Summer Vegetable Risotto. We didn't hesitate one bit in lapping up our dinner. Enjoy!
Summer Vegetable Risotto
You will need:
1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
1 lb fresh zucchini, halved and sliced 1/4" thick
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped red onion
3 cloves garlic
1 cup arborio rice (in a pinch, short-grained rice will do!)
1/4 cup good dry white wine
4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup shaved fresh parmesan
optional - chopped fresh parsley
optional - fresh cracked black pepper
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the asparagus and zucchini for about 3 minutes, just until crisp tender. Drain into a colander and run cold water over the veggies immediately to stop them from continuing to cook. Set aside.
Meanwhile, heat up the vegetable stock in a saucepan and keep simmering nearby.
Heat the oil in a large saucepan or skillet over medium heat, then saute the onions and garlic for about 2-3 minutes, just until onions are translucent. Add arborio rice, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Then add the white wine and stir until it has fully evaporated, about 2 minutes. Then ladle in about 1 cup of the simmering vegetable stock. Stir the rice constantly until the stock has been fully absorbed, about 5 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup more of the stock, stirring until fully absorbed. Repeat this process, adding about 1/2 or 3/4 cup of stock at a time, until all but 1/4 cup of the stock has been added and absorbed into the rice, about 25 minutes total. Add in the asparagus and zucchini and stir for about 1 minute, just until warmed through. Remove risotto from heat, and stir in the butter and parmesan. Last, add the remaining 1/4 cup of vegetable stock and give it a gentle stir. Serve warm, garnished with parsley and freshly cracked black pepper. Enjoy!
Note: I don't add salt, because there usually seems to be enough salt from the cheese and vegetable stock. However, if you must add salt, about 1/2 teaspoon added to the saucepan should do it!