Light Summer Risotto
Risotto, 'round our house, is a treat. This means, if I'm going to go through the motions of making it, I'm usually throwing in the indulgence ingredients (bacon, prosciutto, butter, cheese, beef-broth-braised-mushrooms, etc.).
So, tonight, was a new treat for us. I modified a recipe from Vegetarian Times Cooks Mediterranean to make a basil-lemon-feta risotto. Of course, the recipe was all off from my final concoction -- it called for home-made vegetarian broth (Puh-leeze! I use chicken broth in boxes from Safeway. It's good. Salty and good!). It did, however, call for carrots in the vegetarian broth, and I thought -- mmm... carrots! In the risotto! Let's do it. It also called for ricotta salata. I had Bulgarian Feta. Close enough.
So, in short, I improvised, modernized, and edited this recipe to make it my own and both E and I were wonderfully surprised with how flavorful, healthy, and *light* this summer risotto ended up being! It's a new favorite of ours and very different than most of the risottos I make -- lighter, more fun!
-1 T peppercorns
-1/4 lemon rind, grated
-1 cup arborio rice
-2 T butter
-1 yellow onion, diced
-1 handfull baby carrots, diced
-1/2 cup gin (I had no appropriate white wine, and this substitution actually worked well!)
-1/2 cup basil, trimmed from the herb-box, chopped finely
-3/4 cup bulgarian feta, chopped finely
-1/2 box chicken broth
1. melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
2. sautée carrots and onion in pan 'til onions are clear (5-7 minutes)
3. Add rice and peppercorns, stir to coat with butter 'til shiny.
4. Add Gin. Boil off alcohol and ignore the wacky smell.
5. Add enough broth to coat the whole thing, stir over medium heat until evaporated.
6. repeat #5.
7. repeat #6 until the rice is al dente.
8. Stir in chopped basil, feta, and lemon rind and allow to sit and set for 10 minutes.
9. Serve immediately. Enjoy.
Mmm...gin in risotto. I can get behind that. It's full of aromatics anyway.
Yeah, I wasn't sure how it was going to work when the kitchen smelled like a 1900's British invasion, but it was actually quite excellent.
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