I love risotto. All kinds – mushroom, seafood, peas, and asparagus – if prepared well, I love any kind. It is incredibly simple to make at home too. All you need is about half an hour, good rice, a little cheese and a good bottle of wine. If you don’t have wine at home, you can substitute it with apple cider or just omit it altogether.
You might need to add a little more lemon juice, but you can adjust the taste right before serving, so don’t stress about it too much at first. If you do have wine and enjoy a few glasses now and then, then use the same whine you drink in the food too. For this recipe, any good white wine or bubbly will work. I used a nice crémant that I also enjoyed afterward next to my risotto.
Today's version of risotto tastes like a spring to me. Spinach gives it an amazing green color, and lemon adds brightness to the taste. It would be amazing to add fresh grilled asparagus to the dish or seared scallops if you eat fish. This time I enjoyed it just plain as it is and truth to be told – I did not miss a thing!
Cooking time: 35 minutes
1 small onion
2/3 sticks butter
1 cup of risotto rice (I use Arborio)
1/3 cup white wine or prosecco
2 cups of hot vegetable stock
10 oz of spinach, both fresh and frozen will work
1 ½ oz parmesan or grana padano cheese
1 small lemon
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chop up the onion rather fine and add it to a medium saucepan with about 1/3 of the butter. Add a little salt and leave the onions sweat for a few minutes. The onion needs to become translucent, but not brown. Cut only the yellow part of the lemon rind off and add it to the pot.
Add the rice to the pan and increase the heat a tiny bit. Stirring with a wooden spoon, toast the grains for about a minute.
Pour the wine to the pot and keep stirring until it is absorbed. After that, start adding the stock, one ladleful at the time. Always wait until the last ladle has almost fully absorbed before adding the new one.
At the same time, prepare the spinach. If you use the frozen one, just thaw it. If you use fresh, then blanch it in boiling water for a few seconds, then dry and blend to a puree.
If 17 minutes have passed from adding the wine, have a taste of the rice. It still needs to have a little bite to it. You might not need to use all of the stock. And if it happens that you need more liquid, just use boiling water.
If you feel that the rice is 2 minutes from being perfect, mix in ½ ladle of stock, spinach, grated cheese, rest of the butter, and the juice of ½ lemon. It needs to be somewhat loose at this point. Have a taste and add salt or more lemon, if you feel like it.
Cover with lid and leave to rest for 5 minutes. After that, remove the lemon rinds and serve as immediately.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She does love to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee
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