Thursday, August 4, 2011

Weekly Recipe: Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

I was watching a recent episode of the Next Food Network Star and was mortified for one of the contestants when she was schooled by Wolfgang Puck and his undiscerning accent.  She had prepared a risotto and after he took one bite, he got up from the table and said he was going to show her how to make risotto.  Off to the kitchen they went, her with a red face, him with a puffed up chest.  All the contestants gathered around the stove as she was given a lesson in Risotto 101. 

The key to risotto is keeping it creamy.  It should glide off the back of the spoon, not stick or run.  It's a science and one I admittedly haven't mastered.  In my book, taste goes a lot farther than precision. 

Seeing that episode made me want risotto.  So when I saw this recipe in a recent Cooking Light, I thought this would be a perfect way to get both my risotto fix and use up some of those CSA veggies.  I stayed pretty true to the recipe, just leaving out the asparagus and switching out basil for the chives.  I also opted to cut my veggies a little smaller than the image on CL's website. 

Everyone really liked it.  Sawyer can now say he's had risotto (and liked it).  Colin liked it too and I enjoyed hearing him pronounce risotto!  I served it as part of a vegetarian dinner, with this being the main feature.  You could also pair it with fish or grilled chicken to round out the meal.  It's creamy with a hint of lemon shining through. 
Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto
adapted from Cooking Light
  • 8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut into thirds
  • 5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 4 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add peas; cook for 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse under cold water.  (Reserve pot to warm your broth in.)
2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add zucchini and squash to pan; cook for 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.
3. Bring vegetable broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
4. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add shallots, and cook for 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in rice, and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook until liquid is absorbed (about 30 seconds), stirring constantly. Stir in 1 cup broth; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Reserve 1/4 cup broth. Add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 22 minutes total). Stir in vegetables; cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated. Remove from heat; stir in reserved 1/4 cup broth and remaining ingredients.


  1. I was mortified for her during that episode!! We've only made risotto once (I say we, but my husband actually did all the work!) and it was The Pioneer Woman's recipe, it was very rich and delicious. This looks so nice! Might have to try this soon.

  2. I don't know if I've "mastered" risottos but I do know they always taste yummy to me!

    However - I can't make lemon risotto - I made it when I was first pregnant with Pierce and it's just one of "those foods" now to me!

  3. Looks super good. Sawyer liked it?! Sam refuses rice....actually one of the few foods he WON'T eat. I'm not sure how he'd do with a creamier version. We might have to try this.

  4. Oh that would be mortifying! Poor girl!

    But on another note, your version looks incredible and sounds so flavorful =)

  5. Hmmm this recipe looks so delicious and nice and i think that fits perfect with my taste and in my opinion is a very easy recipe, so i think i will try it. Thanks for sharing.