The evenings are still quite cool here in June, so a warm dinner is just what I need. Having just made a trip to the farmers market, I had loads of early summer vegetables on hand, so, I turned to a warm, staple favorite, risotto! To round out the plate, I also served grilled patty pan squash and white carrots! Happy summer, even if it’s too cold to eat outside!
Spring Pea Risotto
- 2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 ⁄4 cup finely chopped onion or shallot
- 1 ⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup Arborio rice *
- 1 ⁄2 cup dry white wine
- 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
- 2 cups assorted fresh vegetables:
- Cauliflower broccoli, peas, corn
- freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 ⁄4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- roasted tomatoes
In small saucepan, heat stock just to simmer; cover and keep hot.
In medium saucepan over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add onion and salt, sauté just until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes. While stirring, add rice, pouring it in “like rain,” so that each grain is separate. Continue sautéing and stirring about 4 minutes more. Rice will become slightly more opaque.
Add wine and thyme, stirring. As you stir, drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan; when you can see the dry pan at the bottom as you drag the spoon across, add about 1⁄4 cup of the hot stock. It is important not to let the rice dry out at this point. Continue cooking and stirring. Each time you see the dry pan add about 1⁄4 cup of stock until all of the stock has been added. In about 10 minutes, when half of the stock has been added, stir in the cauliflower. Continue cooking and adding stock, for 5 minutes more, then add the broccoli. Cook until the broccoli begins to soften and turn bright green.
Taste for doneness. The risotto should be slightly chewy in the center, or “al dente” as the Italians call it. Stir in the peas and Parmesan cheese. Correct the seasonings if necessary. Serve immediately if at all possible. If you must prepare this dish a few minutes in advance, keep warm, and stir in about 3 tablespoons of stock to restore the consistency before serving.
Garnish with roasted tomatoes, chives and thyme.
Makes 4 main dish servings. *Arborio and Tesori rices are imported from Italy and found in Italian deli markets or large supermarkets. You may also use American risotto rice, available in some supermarkets. All have the fat, roundish grain, which will absorb a large quantity of liquid without becoming mushy.