Thursday, July 21, 2011

Summer Time Risotto

  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!

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