Friday, September 11, 2009

Friday Flavor: Farmer's Market Risotto

It's that time of the week again!  This week's recipe from Kate is a vegetable risotto - I love that it let's you get a bit creative and incorporate your favorite fresh veggies from the farmer's market!  Out here in Portland, we have some seriously amazing farmer's markets and I can't wait to pick up some squash tomorrow and make this for dinner!  Delish - thanks Kate!

~Portland's PSU Farmer's Market via JAGwired's flikr photostream~

It started this week.  The crisp, chilly mornings arrived in the northeast.  Fall is here!  I love fall, but this time of year, I always feel a twinge of sadness to see the beginning of the end for all those delicious summer fruits and veggies.  I get totally caught between wanting to break out the dutch oven for some slow cooking and firing up the grill for a last hurrah.  So, this week, as you begin the hunt for the slippers you tossed under the bed back in May, I am sharing with you a way to preserve the flavors or summer while giving you the dose of comfort food you’re starting to crave.  

Risotto.  Seriously - it’s not hard.  Ignore the hype.  People love to go on and on about how much patience and time and perfection risotto takes.  Not true!  I think our attention-deficit world has really given this dish a bad rap.  When it comes down to it, it’s 30 minutes of semi-focused, active cooking time.  So get to it!  It will be worth it when you can sit down on the couch with a delicious bowl of creamy, cheesy rice and veggies!

Veggie Risotto:
3 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
2.5 cups Arborio Rice
.75 cups white wine
32 ounces Vegetable Stock
16 ounces water
About a half a pound of any veggies you want- the farmer’s markets are still on, so get creative!  Asparagus, peas, fresh tomatoes and basil, squash…
Pecorino Romano, grated (I refuse to measure cheese, it’s more of an instinct, but if I had to say, about a cup)
salt and pepper, to taste

Put on some music.  Pour a glass of wine.  Risotto always comes out better this way.  After all, you will be in the kitchen for the next 30 minutes, so settle in. 

Heat vegetable stock over low heat in stock pot. Meanwhile, heat a large skillet (12-14 inch, 2 inches deep over medium heat. Add olive oil. Add onion and saut√© for about 5 minutes, or until the onion starts to look translucent. Then add garlic and cook 2-3 minutes, or until “fragrant”- until the smell of garlic takes over your house and people start wandering in, wondering what you are up to.  Add Arborio rice- you are actually “toasting” the rice at this point to give it some flavor.  Stir it around until it sort of starts to smell like popcorn (3-4 minutes). You will also notice the ends of each grain will start to get clear and there will be a solid white center- at this point, it’s ready.  Add wine and stir until it reduces just a bit (1 minute). Ladle in 1 cup of hot stock.  Let it reduce, stirring occasionally.  Then continue adding 1/2 cup of stock at a time, stirring and letting it reduce. You will know when you are ready to add more when it just barely starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.  You can sneak away at this point, but don’t leave it for more than 2 minutes.  When you have about a cup of stock remaining, taste. If rice is still crunchy, continue adding stock. At this point, also add salt and pepper to taste. Once rice is soft with just a hint of crunch, turn off heat and add your veggies and pecorino. Stir in completely.  

Grab a blanket, cuddle up on the couch and enjoy!  Happy fall!


  1. It's sad to say goodbye to summer indeed...but there are also so many things I love about the cooler risotto :), fireplaces, hot chocolate, warm blankets, scares...etc. So, I guess it's not all that bad :)

    Thanks for sharing this recipe with us and the vibrant colors of the veggies are amazing!

  2. Fall is here! Today I saw my first red and orange leaves in Connecticut.

    This risotto sounds delicious and not too hard - a perfect combination!! I can't wait to walk to the farmstand across from my house, pick up some fresh veggies, and make it this week. Thanks for sharing, Kate and Heather!

  3. I made this over the weekend with butternut squash and it was so delicious! I love the that fall is coming!