Summer Vegetable Risotto
From The Dairy Good Cookbook edited by Lisa Kingsley
Risotto has an undeserved reputation for being fussy. It requires a bit of stirring, but it is actually a simple dish to make. Three things contribute to its legendary creaminess—the starch that is released by the Arborio rice as it cooks and, of course, butter and cheese.
Makes 4-6 servings
8 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons butter
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup sliced asparagus (½-inch pieces)
½ cup diced zucchini
½ cup diced yellow squash
½ cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup shredded Italian-style cheese blend
1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or basil
2 Roma tomatoes, seeded and diced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus additional for serving
Cracked black pepper
½ cup shaved Parmesan
Bring the stock to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Turn the heat to low and keep hot but not boiling throughout the cooking process.
Melt the butter in another large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until softened, 5 to 6 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to thoroughly coat. Add the wine and stir until the wine has almost evaporated. Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each cup is absorbed. (Turn the heat to low if necessary to keep at a constant low simmer.)
When the stock is nearly gone, add the asparagus, zucchini, yellow squash, and peas. Continue t cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is tender but still slightly firm. (You may not use all of the stock. The risotto should be very creamy—not quite soupy, but almost.)
Gently stir in the Italian-style cheese and the thyme. Stir in the tomatoes. Add the salt and ground pepper. Serve immediately topped with cracked pepper and shared Parmesan.
Photo by Peter Krumhart and Dean Tanner