Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuscan White Bean & Risotto Salad

This summer I have successfully minimized using my oven unless absolutely necessary. I did use my stove top for recipes such as Penne with Chicken Sausage, Broccoli, and Mushrooms and my Florentine Stuffed Chicken. But overall, most recipes were grilled, salads, or a good ol' Crock Pot recipe. Now that it is cooling off a little, my oven is getting a well deserved welcome again. I kind of missed using my oven.

This evening's meal is a hybrid of fresh, canned, and roasted ingredients. You can serve this dish as an entree for a complete meal or as a side dish. Check out the lovely color from my baby heirloom tomatoes!

Celebrate late summer produce with this colorful salad. Roasted summer squash, zucchini, and eggplant paired with creamy white beans, tomatoes, and risotto are light dressed with a light vinaigrette. This is salad is a vegetarian meal in itself.

Tuscan White Bean & Risotto Salad
(Makes 6 entree servings)

For the salad
1 cup arborio rice
2 1/2 cups water
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
2 14 oz. cans Great Northern Beans or other white bean, drained & rinsed
1-2 zucchini, sliced
1-2 yellow squash sliced
1 eggplant, chopped into 1/2-in cubes
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut in halves
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
1/2 cup sliced roasted red peppers
2 tablespoons fresh Italian flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons fresh basil, finely chopped

For the vinaigrette
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1 clove garlic, pressed or finely minced
Salt & pepper to taste

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or spray with non-stick spray. Arrange the zucchini, summer squash, and eggplant on the baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the vegetables begin to lightly brown.

Meanwhile, bring 2 1/2 cups water to a gentle simmer in a small pot. Heat another medium sized pot over medium heat, add the rice. Swirl to shake the rice and cook until the rice begins to toast and turn a very light brown. Add 1/2 cup of the water. Stir in a figure eight until the rice until the water is absorbed. Continue adding water and stirring until all of the water is used. Add the Parmesan cheese to the rice, remove from the heat and set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper until emulsified. Set aside.

In a large bowl, toss the rice, roasted veggies, beans, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, garlic, parsley, and basil. Pour the vinaigrette over the rice and veggie mixture and toss until everything is evenly coated. You can serve immediately or cover and chill in the fridge until you are ready to serve.

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