Veggie Risotto

Last night I was going to have Shabu Shabu with my friends Hiroko and Rob, and Hiroko's mom. If you have never had Shabu Shabu, find a place that makes it and GO!!! It is like Japanese style hot pot. Really fun to have with friends! Last minute plans changed and we ended up staying in and cooking and Hiroko's mom laid low in her hotel room.
I wasn't really sure what to cook, but I did know I didn't want anything having to do with Thanksgiving!!:)

So we picked Risotto. It had been years since I have made it, and it really is quite simple despite what people think. So Hiroko and I headed to the store while Rob stayed at my place and waited for us.

We decided on a simple vegetable risotto.
Of course I don't have a real recipe but here is a list of what you will need at the store.
* A box of Aborrio rice (it's the only kind you should use to make risotto, and will be found with the other rice products)
* One bunch of asparagus
* One bag of frozen peas
* Two packages of button or cremini mushrooms. (you can buy them pre-sliced if you want but it is cheaper to buy them whole and chop them at home)
* A container of grated cheese, either Parmesano Reggiano or Pecorino Romano. Which ever you like better will be fine. I prefer Romano.
* One box of stock. Either chicken or vegetable. Again, it is totally up you.
* A bunch of flat leaf parsley
* A small onion
* One clove of garlic
* And lastly an acid of some sort. I prefer to use white wine, or lemon juice.

When you get home heat up at large pan to medium high and put a bit of olive oil in it. Also empty the stock into another pan and set that to low.
While the oil is heating up dice up the onion and one clove of garlic. Once they are ready throw them in the oil and start to saute them up. Once they are cooked through pour in a cup and a half of the Aborrio rice. Stir the rice, onions, and garlic around for a minute or 2. You want to get the rice a little toasted. Once the rice is ready pour in your acid. I would say the juice of a whole lemon or about 1/2 - 3/4 a cup of white wine. This step is very important because it is the acid that draws out all the starch from the rice, that will later help to give it that creamy texture we love so much!!!
While the wine is simmering slice up your mushrooms and asparagus. I saute the mushrooms with a bit of salt and pepper, and I roast the asparagus in the oven for about 15 minutes on 375 with a bit of salt and pepper as well.
While the veg are cooking check your risotto. The wine should be pretty absorbed by this point and it will be time to start to ladle in your warm stock. You want just enough to cover the rice. Each time you ladle in the stock you want to stir it up for a minute. Once that stock is absorbed you want to repeat that step over and over until the stock is gone, and the risotto is tender. If you run out of stock before the risotto is ready, just keep the same repetition, but use water. Unless of course you have more stock handy.

Once the risotto is cooked, lower the heat to low, and add in a handful of the frozen peas. No need to defrost them, the heat from the risotto will be more than enough to cook them. Then add your other veg, salt and pepper to taste, about 2 big handfuls of the grated cheese and about 3-4 tablespoons of chopped parsley. Stir it all up till the cheese is melted. Give it a taste to see if you need to add anything, and then serve to your very luck friends
Please give this one a shot and let me know how it goes! You will really be surprised to find out how easy making risotto can be!!
Good luck!


Roxiest said…
I am going to make this when I get back to Tokyo. It was really delicious and I love the faint acidity I taste for this risotto. Thank you so much for doing this cuz u Rock!

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