Summer Veg Risotto
I said I wouldn't slack on the blog and guess what happened... and to be completely honest, I'm going to be slacking even more for the rest of this week because I'll be in Montreal. Last week was a busy one for me. I was up in Muskoka over the weekend visiting some friends - we had an great time, and its always nice to spend some time on the lake to clear your head. Tuesday was the last class of my cooking course and on Wednesday I hosted an amazingly dreamy dinner with my friends as a late birthday celebration. We ate a delicious meal in the garden with strawberry sparkling wine and a peanut butter chocolate cashew cheesecake for dessert (I'm planning on sharing the recipe for this soon). When it got dark we lit candles, and stayed outside until the bugs were just a little bit too much. The entire night gave me all the warm fuzzies.
For now, here is a perfect way to use some summer veggies. This recipe is versatile when it comes to what vegetables you use, and the stock is very forgiving. Just make sure not to leave your rice unattended while cooking it! You have to stir continuously the entire time to avoid mushy rice.
Summer Vegetable Risotto
Makes 2-3 large portions, or 4-5 small
10 cups water
1 large onion, roughly chopped
3 carrots, roughly chopped
3 stalks of celery, roughly chopped
6 cloves of garlic
5 black peppercorns
1-2 bay leaves
1 sprig of rosemary
1 sprig of thyme
salt to taste
For the Risotto:
1 cup arborio rice
1 medium onion, small diced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
Summer veggies (such as zucchini, peas, broccoli, cherry tomatoes, eggplant, peppers) cut into bite sized pieces
Make the vegetable stock: add all of the stock ingredients to a large pot and bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook, covered, for 45 minutes. Strain broth into a large pot and keep on low heat while making your risotto.
You want to make sure to cook your veggies before adding them to your rice so that you don't have raw chunks among your nice al dente rice. I recommend roasting them in the oven with some olive oil, salt and pepper. You could also smoke them, barbecue, pan fry etc. Do this before starting to cook your rice so that you can give the rice your full attention.
To cook your rice, add 1 tbsp olive oil to a large frying pan over medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add rice and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring to ensure all of the rice is cooked. Add 1/2 cup of your stock, and stir continuously until the stock is absorbed. Repeat this process, adding 1/2 cup stock at a time, until your rice is al dente (has a slight bite to it but is cooked). Stir in your cooked veggies, add salt to taste and garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!