The first time I made risotto was when we lived in Florida. We had our friends Kate and Carl over for dinner and instead of the same old side dishes I made risotto and it turned out great. It never occurred to me that it would be difficult to make until Kate asked me if I had made it before. I told her no, but it couldn't be that hard could it? And it wasn't, it was a simple recipe for basic risotto flavored with chicken stock and not much else if I can remember.
Fast forward a few years, while looking through Cooking Light I stumbled upon a recipe for risotto with grape tomatoes, mozzarella and a balsamic reduction. Sign me up! We all know that I love tomatoes and mozzarella and paired with risotto and a balsamic reduction, nothing could be wrong with that. I was right, it was perfect. I've shared the recipe with friends over the years and everyone loves it. And while I have had some risotto making issues over the years (under cooked rice) I have come to realize that if you just add enough liquid you can alleviate your problems (and by enough liquid I mean almost 5 cans of chicken stock!) I think it also helps to use a dutch oven. I finally got a dutch oven late last year and its been wonderful. It's a Lodge brand Dutch Oven and it has been excellent for everything from risotto to chili to frying chicken wings.
I hadn't made risotto in a while, but that all changed on Saturday. A few weeks ago I printed off a Risotto Primavera recipe from The Pioneer Woman and I was drooling every time I looked at the picture of the creamy rice and vegetables. I used peas, asparagus, yellow squash, onion, green onion and carrots. The Pioneer Woman's recipe uses cauliflower, broccoli, yellow squash (I keep typing squarsh :) and peas along with the onions. I think any combo of the veggies would be excellent and it's nice because you can tailor it to you specific likes and dislikes. I also used mozzarella cheese instead of goat cheese. I had the mozzarella at home and didn't want to spend $5 for a few ozs of goat cheese.
Here's a photo of the risotto when it was almost done. See how creamy it is? Yummm!
|Cooked vegetables ready to add to the risotto when it's finished cooking!|