For classic risotto, the rice is cooked slowly, allowing the outside to become soft, while the inside remains firm. In our shortcut version of this recipe, the rice is uniformly tender and the risotto's texture is less creamy.
1/2 cup chopped onion (1 medium)
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
2 14-ounce cans vegetable broth or chicken broth (3-1/2 cups)
1 cup frozen baby sweet peas or regular-size peas
1/4 cup coarsely shredded carrot
1 tablespoon snipped fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed
2 cups fresh spinach, shredded
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1. In 3-quart saucepan cook onion and garlic in hot oil over medium heat about 5 minutes or until onion is tender, stirring occasionally. Add the rice. Cook about 5 minutes or until rice is golden brown, stirring frequently. Remove from heat.
2. Meanwhile, in a 1-1/2-quart saucepan bring broth to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and keep broth simmering. Carefully stir 1 cup of the broth into the rice mixture. Cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Stir another 1 cup of the broth into rice mixture. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed. Add another 1 cup broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently until the broth has been absorbed. (This should take 18 to 20 minutes total.)
3. Stir in remaining broth, the peas, carrot, and dried thyme (if using). Cook and stir until rice is just tender and creamy.
4. Stir in spinach, cheese, and fresh thyme (if using); heat through. Serve immediately. Makes 6 servings.
5. Classic Risotto with Caramelized Onions: Prepare as above, except omit peas. While risotto is cooking, in a 10-inch skillet heat cook 2 cups sliced, halved onions in 1 tablespoon hot olive oil, covered over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. Uncover and cook 10 to 15 minutes more or until onion is evenly golden brown; stir frequently. In Step 3, add caramelized onions with carrot.
6. Classic Risotto with Edamame: Prepare as above, except omit peas. Cook 1 cup frozen shelled sweet soybeans (edamame) according to package directions. In step 3 add edamame with the carrot. Makes 4 main-dish or 6 side-dish servings.
7. Classic Risotto with Shrimp: Prepare as above, except omit peas. In Step 3 stir in 1-1/2 cups cooked, peeled medium shrimp with the carrot. Makes 4 main-dish or 6 side-dish servings.
8. Shortcut Risotto with Peas: Prepare as above through Step 1. Carefully stir in all of the broth. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover, simmer for 20 minutes (do not lift cover). Remove from heat. Stir in peas, carrot, and dried thyme (if using). Cover; let stand for 5 minutes. Rice should be just tender and mixture should be slightly creamy. (If necessary, stir in a little water to reach desired consistency.) Stir in spinach, cheese, and fresh thyme (if using); heat through. Serve at once.
Nutrition Info
Calories : 278
Protein (g) : 16
Carbohydrate (g) : 33
Total fat (g) : 9
Cholesterol (mg) : 111
Saturated Fat (g) : 2
Fiber (g) : 1
Vitamin A (DV%) : 0
Vitamin C (DV%) : 0
Sodium (mg) : 994
Calcium (DV%) : 10
Iron (DV%) : 26
Anyone Can Cook 9/4/2007 Something on the Side p23

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