I think risotto tops my list with mashed potatoes in the world of starches. I heart a good risotto! The creamy goodness makes me hungry just thinking about it. The funny thing is, I used to be really scared to make it for a couple of reasons. The first reason being, it takes a little bit of attention. The second, all of the fancy-shmancy chefs are making it. Both complications were resolved earlier this spring when I decided to finally just do it already:) After my first batch of lobster risotto, which is way more complicated than this little gem, I got over my fears. With a glass of wine handy to enjoy while stirring and realizing that I don't have to be a celebrity chef to do this at home, I've fallen in love:) Really, it isn't that difficult and you, yes you can make it too.
Summer Time Risotto
4 tablespoons olive oil (divided)
4 tablespoons butter (divided)
1 shallot finely chopped
1 zucchini sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 yellow squash sliced into 1/4-inch thick slices
1 cup frozen peas
1 box organic chicken stock
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the 3 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter to the pan; swirl to coat. Add the zucchini and squash to the pan; cook for 5-7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Gently stir in the peas. Remove from heat and set aside.
In a medium saucepan, bring the chicken stock to a gentle simmer. Keep warm over low heat. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, melt the remaining olive oil and butter. Add the shallots and cook for 2-3 minutes or until translucent. Stir in the rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly in order to lightly toast the grains. Stir in the wine; cook until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup chicken stock. Cook and stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of the chicken stock is absorbed before adding the next. Add the vegetables; cook 1-2 minutes or until combined and everything is heated through. Remove from heat; stir in the Parmesan cheese.
You can serve this dish totally on its own or along side a lovely piece of grilled chicken, pork, or fish. Don't be afraid to make risotto! It is totally worth the tender, loving care!