Risotto is a dish that can be a ‘go to’ side dish or the main course. One of the many reasons I like risotto is that you can add some leftovers to it and have your very own “weekly special” on the menu.
We always grill fresh vegetables whenever we have the grill on during the weekend. I make extra vegetables so we can have leftovers during the week and I use them in many different ways. This week I used some of the vegetables for the risotto.
When you are having a really busy day or you are not sure what to make for dinner risotto can be a life-saver. Thirty minutes is all you need if you are using some leftovers. Add a green salad and your dinner is ‘served’.
I have posted a few risotto recipes and I use Lidia Bastianich’s method for cooking risotto. It’s a no fail method and the risotto is always perfect.
One thing to remember when making risotto is that it needs to be served immediately – it’s not a make in advance kind of dish. BUT the flip side is that you can cook and serve risotto within 30 minutes.
You don’t necessarily need ‘grilled’ vegetables. Risotto is flexible and it’s a blank palette for any vegetables or leftovers you have in your fridge. Combine them with the simmering risotto and dinner is ready in a flash.
Grilled Vegetable Risotto
- 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, minced (about 3/4 cup)
- 2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (or you can use vegetable stock)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces
- salt and pepper to taste
- grilled vegetables, chopped
- chopped fresh herbs of choice (parsley, basil, oregano, sage)
- Pour the stock into a 2-quart saucepan on medium heat to a simmer and then keep it hot over low heat. (The liquid must be hot in order for the starch to be released to make the sauce creamy.)
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat add in chopped onion stirring occasionally until translucent and just lightly golden.
- Stir in the arborio rice and continue stirring until the grains are coated with oil and “toasted” – the edges become translucent – 1 to 2 minutes.
- Pour in the wine stirring into the rice and let it simmer until wine is evaporated (if you don’t cook with wine just use the vegetable stock).
- Season the rice lightly with salt and then pour in 1 to 1-1/ 2 ladles of the hot stock into the pan, or enough to barely cover the rice. Do Not Stir – Bring rice to a boil, then lower the heat so the stock is at a lively simmer.
- Continue cooking the rice on simmer and pour in approximately ½ ladle of the hot stock. For each addition of the stock there should be just enough to completely moisten the rice — and then let the rice cook until each batch of stock has been absorbed.
- Repeat this process until the rice is creamy and al dente; this will take 16 to 20 minutes from the time the wine was added. When in doubt, undercook, the risotto continues to cook even after it is removed from the heat.
- Taste the rice after the stock has absorbed to determine if the rice is al dente after about 15 minutes of cooking time.
- Add in the grilled vegetables – or any leftovers you will be using and heat through.
- Adjust the level of heat throughout cooking so the rice is simmering very gently.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter and any herbs you will be using. Taste and season as needed.