Adapted from a Pioneer Woman recipe, we have grown to absolutely love this recipe. I’ve never seen our kids scarf down zucchini, summer squash or carrots like they do when served with this cheesy, flavorful risotto.
Beware though: there is a bit of time involved. Not difficult – just time consuming and laborious. A lot of vegetable chopping and then continuous stirring as the broth is absorbed into the rice. Without a glass of wine (or two), it can be a really long preparation process.
I tend to make this slightly different every time I make it because I use whatever vegetables I have in the house. This weekend, I went to the market and came home with some organic zucchini, squash, carrots and onions. Frozen peas are also great; I’ve been known to throw in broccoli, cauliflower and even finely chopped greens (collards, mustard, spinach, etc).
The first thing you’ll do is put all of your chicken stock into a stockpot on the stove over low heat to simmer. Then start cutting your veggies, starting with carrots and onions.
Melt a little butter and olive oil in a big 12″ skillet. Add diced onions and carrots, for about five minutes until onions are translucent. Sprinkle with some nice salt.
Dice up your zucchini and squash; broccoli and cauliflower. Whatever else you’re using for veggies.
Add them to the pan with the carrots and onions, for just a few minutes until they’re cooked but tender. This is where it starts looking delicious!
When they’re done, put them in a bowl – we’ll bring them back later. Now, you’re going to start with your rice.
Add another pat of butter and dribble of olive oil to the same skillet. Add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice to this and lightly brown, for about 2 minutes. Add half-cup of white wine and cook until absorbed.
Using a heat-proof container (I use my Pyrex measuring cup), scoop a cup of simmering chicken broth from the stockpot and add it to the rice, mixing constantly. Let it simmer while slowly mixing, until all liquid is absorbed. Then, add another cup. You’re going to keep up this repetitive process for the next half hour or 45 minutes, until the rice is cooked to the consistency you want it.
The rice won’t look like much when you start, but it nearly triples in size as it cooks so actually makes a lot of food.
When your rice is done, add the last half cup of white wine. Mix in your bowl of veggies. Add parmesan cheese and any other cheeses (I used gorgonzola this week but also recommend goat cheese or Feta).
Yum! Serve immediately and make sure your three-year-old doesn’t eat it all before you get some! Our kids love this dish, and I’m okay with that.
- Vegetables (broccoli, onions, carrots, cauliflower, zucchini, squash, peas, etc.)
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 7-10 cups chicken broth (or, vegetable broth if you want to make it vegetarian)
- 1 1/2 cups white wine (cooking, or any dry is fine)
- 2 tbsp olive oils
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2-4 tsps salt (to taste)
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- Heat the chicken broth in a stock pan; maintain heat at low.
- In a 12" or bigger skillet, add a little butter and olive oil. Add onions and carrots; cook until onions are translucent.
- Add cauliflower, then squash, then broccoli. Cook 3-5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and put into a bowl on the side for a while.
- Add another tbsp of butter and olive oil to the same pan.
- Add rice and stir for about 2 minutes over medium heat.
- Add half the wine and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt. Stir and cook until liquid is absorbed.
- Over the next 30-45 minutes, add 1 cup of simmering broth at a time, stirring until broth is absorbed, until all rice is tender.
- Add the other half of the wine, stirring until absorbed. Add more chicken broth if rice isn't yet the right texture.
- Add veggies and peas. Mix well.
- Add parmesan cheese; mix and serve.