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Monday, April 8, 2013

Is it Spring Time yet!!?? Fresh Veggie Risotto

We are so ready for Spring in this house!!  It has been an unusual Winter with late snows into March.  My daughter & I love to play outside, work in the garden, go to the playground, & it has been too cold & yucky outside for too long.  We finally have had some warmer, pretty weather this week, & in an effort to ring in Spring we planted our garden & made fresh veggie risotto for dinner.

I wish I had taken some pics as we put the garden together, but I'll take some later when it is completely finished.
What I do have for you is a super simple, versatile recipe which you can amend depending on which veggies you can get your hands on.  I think it is my absolute favorite recipe to make during veggie season, & I've probably never made it exactly the same way twice.

You'll need:
risotto rice 1 1/2 cups (a short grained rice that can be a little tricky to find sometimes.  My Whole Foods sells it  in the bulk section which is a really good deal!)
chicken broth (about 4 cups)
veggies (I usually do 1 each of 4+ different veggies) I've used eggplant, zucchini, broccoli, onion, bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus...the options are endless
Olive Oil (about a TBSP)

First heat your oven to 425, chop all your veggies to 1 inch pieces. (think a little bigger than bite size.  Once you roast them they will be smaller)

Put them on the roasting pan that came with your oven =)  Did you get one of those?  I ended up with 2 after moving to a new house, so I fill both of them full of veggies & add about 1/2 cup of chicken broth or water to the bottom of the pan.  Then season the veggies with whatever you like.  I usually go with a basil base, but lots of flavors can work with this dish.

Go ahead and put them in the oven for about 20 minutes.  You'll prepare the rice while the veggies roast.

Now heat oil in a LARGE pan & brown the rice slightly. Takes about 2 minutes but don't burn it.

Heat your remaining chicken broth to a slow boil in a saucepan.  Add about 1/2 cup at a time to your rice and stir on medium heat until the broth cooks out. Then add another 1/2 cup of hot broth & do the same.  This dish does require you to stand at the stove the whole time and stir a lot, but it creates a soft creamy rice that is soooooo yummy.

You'll continue in this fashion until all your broth is gone.  It takes about 20 minutes so your veggies should be done when your rice is done.

Now simply add your veggies to your large pan with the rice and stir.  Heat it thru & serve!!  We add Parmesan cheese to our bowls and not to the whole dish since my daughter has a dairy sensitivity.  This dish is so good and so easy to change depending on what to have available.  Hope you enjoy it!!

You can also add a meat to this if you wish, but for us, it is a great filling dish with just the veggies and leaves us feeling great after eating it.  Just a good clean meal!!