Monday, May 21, 2007

Vegetable Risotto

One day not long ago I found myself with a great deal of mozzarella and fresh produce on hand, which not the worst position in which to find oneself. This risotto is a great way to get rid of a whole bunch of produce at once, if you're concerned about using it all before it goes bad... I diced up everything I had in the fridge: some garlic, onion, zucchini, yellow squash, mushrooms, and red and yellow bell peppers. I sauteed the diced veggies in some olive oil with salt and pepper, in smaller chunks than I usually might have done, because I already had plans for the leftovers. (Wouldn't you like to know).

I then added all of the risotto that I had in the house, and stirred it all around until just toasty -- when the arborio rice starts to look a little translucent. Then you begin adding the liquid that is recommended on the box a bit at a time (if you are a box-reading sissy, that is), letting it cook down a bit before adding some more. Add, stir, add, stir. I used chicken stock, but you could use water or vegetable stock, too. Personally, I didn't measure anything. The best part about arborio rice is that it "tells" you when you are done adding liquid. You can taste it, and it should have a cooked rice texture instead of a crunch. Here it is before it is quite cooked:

When it is all said and done (maybe 20 minutes or so), I put the veggie risotto into individual crocks and broiled some good mozzarella cheese on top of each. Oh man. What's better than that? And it was so easy.

Chris and I each got our own little private casserole, which was cute. I think this would be a great way to get some veggies into veggie-proof kids, too, because it was all chopped fine and hidden beneath that blanket of mozzarella. If you think they'd pull the cheese off the top, then you could mix it up a little before giving it to them. That way, when they grow up, you can laugh and tell them how much smarter than them you used to be. It might make you feel better about the fact that they never call or write.

Stay tuned for the fate of the leftover risotto and mozzarella cheese...

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