Monday, November 10, 2008

LisaAC's Garden Veggie Risotto (and slow cooker variation)


Now, if you're listening closely, you can hear Lisa yelling from England, "It's not my recipe! It's Ellie Krieger's!!" LisaAC is a friend of mine through the knot/the nest/some mutual friends. She's currently married and living in Northern England in a flat with a glorious view of Seaton Carew. She's a fellow foodie lemme tell ya, she makes one hell of a risotto! I was determined to try this recipe after so many of our mutual friends raved up and down about it. I love a good risotto, despite the time it takes, and I love the chance to try something new and shake up our routine.

This was so, so, SO good! It was delicious and creamy, but still felt fresh and healthy. I highly encourage you run out and try this today. Or tomorrow, but soon! I made this on the stove, but Lisa adjusted it and made it in her crockpot. Her variation follows.

Garden Veggie Risotto

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 teaspoon salt
Freshly ground black pepper
3 lightly packed cups baby spinach leaves
1 cup frozen peas
1/2 pound asparagus, steamed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan

Bring the broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Heat the oil in a heavy saucepan over moderately low heat and cook the onion, stirring occasionally, until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the hot broth, the salt and a few grinds of fresh pepper and simmer, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.

Continue simmering and adding hot broth, about 3/4 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing the broth to be absorbed before adding more, until rice is almost tender and creamy-looking, about 18 minutes.

Add the spinach and peas and cook until the spinach is wilted. Add the asparagus and cook just until the vegetables are hot. Stir in the Parmesan and more broth if the risotto seems too thick. Serve in soup plates.

Crockpot variation: Prepare on the stove up through the first 3/4 c. broth and salt and pepper. Pour this mixture into your crockpot, then add the remaining broth, spinach, and peas (sub frozen spinach for fresh). Cook on high for one hour. Add asparagus after 1 hour, and continue cooking on high for two more hours.

Notes:
  • I'm ashamed, but I completely forgot to pick up fresh asparagus during my grocery run on Sunday, so I used a can of asparagus spears we had in the cabinet. It didn't ruin the risotto, but you could definitely taste the difference in the canned veggies vs. the fresh & frozen. There was also a color difference--the canned stuff was visibly darker and dull looking. It wasn't a huge disappointment, but I think this would be amazing with all fresh ingredients.
  • Another friend of ours commented that mushrooms would be a great addition to this, and I can definitely see that.
  • As usual, I used chicken stock, and I didn't feel that this was too salty at all. Then again, I have a high tolerance for salt.
  • I'm a big fan of NOT stirring risotto constantly. It's so tedious to stand and stir for 15 minutes straight. I usually stir for one or two minutes, then cover the risotto and let it sit for 2 minutes on the stove. Perhaps it takes a little longer for all the liquid to absorb, but I've never had a bad risotto trying this method. As long as you stir and taste on occassion, your risotto will be delicious and creamy every time.

2 comments:

  1. It looks and sounds delicious!

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  2. As soon as I saw it I did scream "Its not my recipe! Its Ellie Krieger's!" in my head. I guess a recipe isn't a good recipe until you know someone who has made it with good results.

    I agree with you about not liking to stir, which is why I devised the slow cooker variation. It took longer, but I got to relax instead of standing over the stove stirring. I can take credit for the slow cooker variation!

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