I just love risotto. Basically, you throw in whatever seasonal vegetables you have on hand, fresh herbs, broth and maybe a splash of wine. Creamy risotto is always one of my favorite vegetarian meals. While trying to eat vegetarian three-four nights/week (for environmental reasons), a basic risotto offers so many different variations and the ingredients are inexpensive. I like to combine a splash of red wine with mushrooms, squash with nutmeg, fresh peas with mint, beets with thyme, lemon with fennel and vodka (no really, the alcohol cooks off!)…so many variations. To make a good risotto, you really have to watch your pot and add one ladle of broth at a time to the risotto rice. This is the only way to ensure that the risotto is creamy but al dente, not mushy. Also, do not even think about using that Parmesan in a can nonsense. Buy a wedge of Parmesan and grate it yourself! The difference is staggering. Practice portion control and serve your risotto with a side salad of mixed greens for a healthy meal. Here are a few ideas to get you started with a risotto meal tonight:
Lemon Parsley Risotto– With red onion, white wine and fresh lemon zest, this risotto has just the right amount of zing.
Asparagus Risotto– Sun-dried tomatoes add delicious sweetness to this healthy asparagus and mushroom risotto.
Wild Mushroom Risotto– Shitake mushrooms are wonderfully full of flavor, but you can use any wild mushroom variety available.
Spinach Risotto– Get your greens with this risotto recipe, which can be made in the microwave for ease.
Green Risotto with Fava Beans– Give seasonal fava beans a try with this basic risotto recipe with white wine.