Monday, June 13, 2011


Have you made risotto before? Apparently it is one of those dishes that scares some people. They they that it's really difficult to make and don't try it at home. If you are one of those people, then you are missing out. Yes, risotto is somewhat time consuming and your arm may get tired from all of the stirring, but if you are patient with it and give it enough liquid you will not be disappointed.

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!

Finished risotto!

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