Risotto is one of my favorite dishes – to cook and eat! I’ll admit, it does require you to actively cook, i.e. stand at the stove for most of the cooking time… but I think the end result is totally worth any extra effort. Plus, I love watching the whole process – the transformation from ordinary, crunchy rice to creamy, silky risotto. The method for making risotto is basic enough, quickly brown the rice in some sort of fat and seasoning, then slowly add in wine and warm broth until the rice is creamy and tender.
But risotto is extremely versatile! You can add any flavors you want. It can be vegetarian or vegan, you can add bacon, cheeses, or even seafood. You can either use the flavors and vegetables as the base you build your risotto on or you can add veggies and herbs in at the end. I like to do a little bit of both!
- 2 medium zucchini
- 1/2 small red onion, finely minced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, plus 1/2 tsp salt
- 3 tablespoons butter (or Earth Balance Spread)
- 3 cups Arborio Rice
- 1 cup white wine
- 5 cups chicken broth, warmed
- 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese (optional - omit to make dairy-free)
- Heat a large pan over medium heat. Chop the zucchini into small pieces. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil, zucchini and red onion to the pan. Season with 3/4 teaspoon of salt. Cook until zucchini is soft and golden, about 7 minutes. Add minced garlic and cook for just a minute longer. With a slotted spoon, transfer the zucchini, onions, and garlic to a small bowl.
- In the same pan you cooked the zucchini, add 3 Tablespoons Butter or Earth Balance Spread. Add the arborio rice and cook for about 3 minutes until it just starts to turn translucent. Add in the white wine. Cook the rice until all the wine is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
- Cook the rice, adding about 1 cup of chicken broth at a time, until the rice is tender. You need to stir after each addition of chicken broth until almost all the liquid has been absorbed before adding more. You will probably be cooking the risotto for 20-30 minutes total. Once the last of the chicken stock has been absorbed, add in the zucchini and red onions you have set aside. Fold carefully into the risotto.
- If you like, stir in 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and top with fresh parsley.
- While this risotto is best served right away, it is also delicious reheated. To reheat, just add a 1/3 cup or so of warm chicken broth to ensure the risotto isn't too thick.