By Vicki Brett-Gach
Prized for its very high starch content, short-grain arborio rice is commonly used to make risotto because it absorbs liquids and flavors so beautifully. In fact, it’s a key element in creating the creamy texture that makes risotto…well, risotto. While the rice cooks gently in a savory mixture of hot broth and white wine, the risotto develops its signature smooth and velvety texture. Your risotto is ready once the individual grains of rice are tender, yet still slightly firm in the center.
Risotto really is best served immediately. Left to sit too long in the pan once prepared, risotto can dry out, or turn mushy. Even though risotto is infamous for requiring tremendous patience, I think you will find this recipe is pretty much as easy as stirring. Plus it’s ready in just about 20 minutes.
RISOTTO WITH FRESH ASPARAGUS AND BABY PEAS
In a large saucepan or electric skillet, sauté diced onion for 3 to 5 minutes (or until softened) in a few tablespoons of water, to prevent sticking. Add garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute more.
Add the rice and the wine, and stir until absorbed. Add one or two ladles of vegetable broth at a time, stirring frequently after each addition. Wait until broth is almost completely absorbed before adding more. After using the broth, if additional liquid is needed, add just a little bit of water at a time. (You may not find this step necessary, depending on how hot your skillet is.)
After cooking the rice in liquid for about 15 minutes, add the fresh asparagus and baby peas. Season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook for about five minutes more, just until vegetables are barely tender.
Once rice looks creamy, and grains are almost tender, but still slightly firm in the center, remove from heat. Allow to sit without stirring for one minute. Season to taste, and serve immediately.
About the author...
Vicki is a Certified Vegan Lifestyle Coach and Educator through Main Street Vegan Academy, and a Certified Personal Chef through Wellness Forum Health. She has completed training in Nutrition for a Healthy Heart, and earned a Certificate in Plant-Based Nutrition, through the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies. Check out her blog at www.annarborvegankitchen.com.
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