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risotto

Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Risotto Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata // the perfect spring meal from Karista's Kitchen

It’s the first full week of spring and my mint plant is blooming the prettiest Chartreuse green leaves. These gorgeous green leaves are inspiring a constant stream of recipe ideas like this Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata.  

I adore adding fresh mint to my recipes and I often add it to my quinoa salads, cucumber and papaya salsa, and even a few stir fry recipes. And now mint has made it’s way into my lemon risotto with a crispy mushroom and mint gremolata.

Mixing fresh herbs with sautéed mushrooms compliments a dish and gives it a little extra something special.  I like to combine fresh mint, parsley and basil in my gremolata because each of those herbs play so well together. Not to mention, the herbs compliment the lemon risotto so beautifully you’d think they were made for each other.

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom Gremolata // Karista's Kitchen

This lovely recipe is bright with flavor but still comforting in texture. Lemon risotto with crispy mushroom and mint gremolata highlights the dawn of a new season with  a playful twist of fresh ingredients.

This is a short, although delicious, post today but I’ll be back soon with more tempting recipes from a new kitchen!

Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

Karista

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

Serving Size: serves 4 (recipe can be doubled)

Lemon Risotto with Crispy Mushroom and Mint Gremolata

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons ghee or extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 - 3/4 cup diced yellow onion (about 1/2 of a large onion)
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4-5 cups warm vegetable broth (I like a creamy risotto so I use extra broth)
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 medium lemon zested
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced assorted seasonal mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
  • A squeeze of fresh lemon
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • To make the risotto add 2 tablespoons of ghee or olive oil to a large pot over medium heat. Add the diced onions and sauté until tender, about 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir for one minute longer. Add ½ cup dry white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Next, stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it’s absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue to add 1/2 cup of broth at a time, stirring often and allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the rice is almost tender, al dente.
  • When the risotto is done, take it off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and lemon zest. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To make the gremolata, heat a skillet over medium heat and add the olive oil. When the oil is hot add the mushrooms and saute until slightly browned and a little crispy. Then stir in the minced garlic, fresh chopped herbs and squeeze of lemon. Take the skillet off the heat and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve the risotto, ladle risotto into individual bowls or one large serving bowl. Top the lemon risotto with the crispy mushroom and mint gremolata and serve with additional grated parmesan cheese.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Pasta Risotto vegetarian VRAI Magazine

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto // Karista's Kitchen and VRAI Magazine

    Risotto is true comfort food.  Just the act of preparing risotto feels comforting, soothing somehow.  Maybe it’s because when I make risotto I like to turn on old Italian music and channel my inner Italian; or maybe it simply reminds me of time spent in Italy with the most wonderful and delightful people.

    Although risotto feels like comfort food, it also feels lush.  A bit decadent and a bit indulgent.  That could be another reason I love preparing risotto for my family – tossing in and adding seasonal ingredients like roasted pumpkin to create an even greater indulgent experience.

    If you’ve never prepared risotto or you’ve prepared it and it didn’t quite turn out the way you anticipated, you are going to love this Roasted Pumpkin Risotto post.  I’ve created this post for the October issue of  VRAI Magazine.  Head on over and check out this easy and fun pictorial as well as all the fabulous articles about lifestyle, travel, DIY, fashion and more food!  Click HERE for the recipe.

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto // Karista's Kitchen

    I just want to say a HUGE thank you for reading Karista’s Kitchen and following Karista’s Kitchen on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest and Twitter.  I truly appreciate and value your time spent browsing and reading – and my hope is that each and every recipe inspires you.

    As well, thank you so much for following and reading VRAI Magazine!  I am so proud and feel so honored to be part of such a talented team of professionals.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

    Karista's Kitchen Life Around My Table Pasta Risotto Sassy Side dishes

    Chianti Risotto

    Chianti Risotto with DaVinci Chianti

    Chianti Risotto tastes like one giant food hug.

    Fall of 2013, I was in a whirlwind of excitement and slowly coming down off my travel and culinary cloud after being in Italy for two weeks.  I think in all that excitement I failed to post this lovely dish.

    I originally created this gorgeous Chianti Risotto for DaVinci Wine . I was one of four very lucky bloggers to join the DaVinci Wine team in Vinci, Italy to learn all about Chianti wine-making. It. Was. Glorious.

    Naturally, I had to pair these two ingredients together, making one very cozy and gorgeous looking dish.

    This Chianti Risotto is one of those special recipes I reserve for a weekend when everyone is home and gathered in the kitchen.  We take turns stirring the risotto, chatting, sipping wine, nibbling on bruschetta and savoring the precious moments together.  You can certainly make this on a weeknight (and I do that as well) but it’s such an indulgent and rich dish I love to sit and relish the dish over a long weekend evening.

    Risotto is a staple in most Italian kitchens and it’s served in many forms. Which is truly the beauty of risotto.  It travels through seasons adapting to a multitude of ingredients, never wearing out its welcome on the dinner table.

    I adore the subtle fruitiness of the DaVinci Chianti and I thought it would make a lovely addition to risotto. Top with crispy fried sage, fresh grated parmesan or shaved pecorino and this is comfort food at its most delicious.  For a heartier version of this deeply colored risotto, I topped it with a farm fresh fried egg.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love,

    Karista

     

    Chianti Risotto

    Serving Size: 2-3 as an entree, 4 as a side dish

    Ingredients

    • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium shallot, finely diced (about 2-3 tablespoons)
    • 1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
    • 1 cup DaVinci Chianti
    • 4 -5 cups beef broth, warmed
    • Knob of unsalted butter
    • ¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
    • Salt and pepper to taste
    • 6-8 large sage leaves
    • Shaved pecorino
    • Optional: top each serving with a fried egg

    Instructions

  • In a large pot over medium high heat add the olive oil. When the oil is hot but not smoking add the shallots and sauté for just a minute or two and then add the rice. Stir the rice for about 2 minutes and then add the cup of DaVinci Chianti and stir until the wine is absorbed.
  • Turn the heat down to medium or medium low and stir in 1 cup of the warm beef broth. Simmer until the broth is absorbed, stirring frequently. Repeat this process with about ½ cup of broth at a time and continue to cook until the rice is almost tender.
  • Be sure to allow each addition of broth to be absorbed before adding the next. This takes about 20 minutes. When the rice is done, add additional broth if you feel the risotto is too thick. I like a thinner risotto.
  • Stir in the parmesan cheese and a knob of butter and season to taste with salt and pepper. Let the risotto rest while you prepare the sage leaves and/or fried eggs.
  • In a small sauté pan heat some olive oil and when the oil is very hot add the sage leaves, turning them in the oil as they brown. Once crispy, take the pan off the heat and set the fried sage on a paper towel lined plate.
  • Place the risotto in individual serving bowls and garnish with a fried sage leave, shaved pecorino, and if you wish, a fried egg.
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    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Risotto Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    spinach, arugula and lemon risotto

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    One of my chicken gals laid an egg today!  Yes, I splattered the good news all over facebook, instagram, and twitter.

    After my little social media blitz, I joyously announced the good news to my two sassy gals.  To which the reply was less than enthusiastic.

    One of my sassy gals gets a pass on enthusiasm as she’s still recovering from surgery, but I thought my youngest gal would be a little more thrilled about the good news.  I was on the receiving end of “that’s nice Mom”.

    chicken egg

    Our first egg

    I did however get a resounding “hurrah” for this lovely little spring green dish of risotto.  One of my youngest gals favorite comfort foods.

    Risotto can be simply flavored with just a hint of spiciness from sautéed shallots, layered with the subtle saltiness of fresh grated parmesan, or exquisitely prepared with earthy porcini’s and lightly drizzled with the distinct pungent flavor of truffle oil.

    This risotto however is most beautifully in between.  Hmmm… I’m sounding a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  This risotto is just right. 🙂

    spinach, arugula and lemon risotto

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    Beautifully green with the distinct peppery taste of fresh arugula and the subtle grassiness of fresh spinach.  Then combined with a spritz of fresh lemon, garlic cloves and olive oil, this risotto seems to complete the spring season of risottos.

    Bright in color and happy on the palate.  What every spring risotto aspires to be.

    Fresh Spinach, Arugula and Lemon Risotto

    Serves 4 to 6

    Ingredients

    1 cup fresh spinach, packed (I used baby spinach leaves)

    1 cup fresh arugula, packed (I used baby arugula leaves)

    1-2 cloves garlic, crushed

    Zest of one lemon

    2-3 tablespoons lemon juice

    ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

    Salt and pepper to taste

    3 tablespoons butter

    1 shallot, chopped

    2 cups Arborio rice

    ½ cup dry white wine

    6 cups vegetable broth, warmed

    ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

    Directions

    Combine the arugula and spinach leaves, garlic, lemon juice and olive oil in a food processor.  Blend until coarsely chopped.  Fold in the lemon zest.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

    In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and keep warm over low heat.

    Melt the butter in a heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped shallot and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes.

    Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.

    Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth ½ cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 20 minutes.

    Stir in the spinach arugula mixture. Continue cooking, adding more broth ¼ cup at a time, until rice is creamy and tender, about 10 minutes longer.

    Season the risotto with salt and pepper.  Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.  Serve immediately.

     

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

    roasted pumpkin risotto

    www.karistaskitchen.com

    I probably have 20 different methods of preparing risotto.  Mostly because that’s the one dish my youngest gal always requests.

    Suzie Q will request risotto for her birthday dinner, when she’s sick, when she scores a perfect 100 on an exam, when she’s having a really rotten day, or any other evening she might need a little comfort.  For my youngest gal, risotto is celebration and comfort food.

    pumpkin risotto

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

    For me, risotto is luxurious.  Especially when I’m not the person who’s done all the stirring.  🙂

    I adore the silky, creamy rice simply prepared with shallots, white wine, vegetable broth, parmesan and a dash of truffle oil.  Suzie Q loves it laced with ribbons of  ham, a Risotto alla Milanese.

    roasted pumpkin risotto

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

    Risotto with arugula and lemon, risotto with chicken, risotto with wild mushrooms and of course during the Autumn months, risotto with roasted winter squash.  The minute I see the beautiful harvest squash arrive, my risotto wheels start turning.

    Today, I let the roasted sugar pie pumpkin do all the driving.

    It’s a mellow squash that is slightly sweet and tastes in flavor and texture much like a true sweet potato.  Roasted, it makes a divine addition to any dish.  Especially risotto.  Either served as a main entrée or as a side, this beautiful, brightly colored risotto will grace any Autumn or holiday table.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Roasted Pumpkin Risotto

    Just in case you’re in need of sugar pie pumpkin recipes, I’ve got just the blog for you.  My friend Smidge, from Just a Smidgen, posted several most delicious sugar pie pumpkin recipes recently, and as well, gives a lovely photographic tutorial on roasting these divine little squash.  Be sure to click on over and check out the post.   Just a Smidgen

    Serves 6-8

    Ingredients

    1 sugar pie pumpkin (roasting instructions below)

    2 cups Arborio rice

    ½ – 2/3 cup finely diced sweet onion

    1 tablespoon fresh chopped sage

    2- 3 tablespoons butter

    ½ cup white wine

    6 cups vegetable broth (I love the Rapunzel brand bouillon cubes, available at PCC Natural Markets and Whole Foods)

    ½ cup grated parmesan cheese

    Salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste

    Fresh sage leaves

    Directions

    To roast the pumpkin:

    Preheat the oven to 400F.  Slice the stem section off the squash first and then slice the squash in half (very carefully).  Scoop out the seeds.

    Brush the cut sides of the squash with a little oil. Lay the squash halves cut side down in a glass baking dish and add a little water to the pan.   Bake for about 20-30 minutes or until the squash is tender and skins are golden brown and toasty.

    When the squash has cooled, remove the meat of the squash and place it in a food processor or blender, add just a sprinkle of salt and pepper and puree.  If you don’t have either a food processor or blender feel free to mash with a fork or potato masher until nicely pureed.

    To prepare the risotto:

    In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and keep warm over low heat.

    Heat 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a heavy bottom, large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped sweet onions and sauté until just tender, about 2-3 minutes.

    Add the rice and fresh chopped sage and stir for about 1 minute until the rice is nicely coated in butter.  Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.

    Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently.  Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 25-30 minutes.

    Stir in the roasted pumpkin puree and fresh grated parmesan. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with either chopped fresh sage or butter seared sage leaves.   Serve immediately.

    To re-heat the risotto: Add ½ cup water to the cooled risotto and re-heat over medium low heat or in a microwave safe steam bowl.  This will bring the creamy texture back to the risotto.

    ** A fun and delish twist to this risotto is to omit the sage and add a teaspoon of finely minced ginger to the pumpkin puree along with a pinch of curry powder.  Yum!

    Chicken Kid Friendly Pasta

    Chicken Risotto

    karistaskitchen.com

    Chicken Risotto

    As most of you know I am in deep chef love with Emeril.  He was my first chef love.  Still at the top of my list, but now joined by a few more chef’s that melt my food heart.

    Tom Douglas, one of our local celebrity chefs and James Beard award winner, captured my food heart about 10 years ago when I moved to Seattle.

    I’m terribly starry-eyed about our local food hero, and because I think him brilliant, I mentioned Chef Douglas in one of my recent seafood classes.  It just so happened that one of the students attending the class works for Chef Douglas and his culinary empire.

    karistaskitchen.com

    Chicken Risotto

    So of course I gushed a little more and asked the student to please pass along a sincere “hello” and I have a “chef crush on you” from Karista’s Kitchen. 🙂

    A few weeks later, the lovely young lady sent me a signed copy of my favorite Tom Douglas cookbook.  I gushed all over again and now it’s proudly displayed on my shelf of favorite cookbooks.  Thanks Jessica!

    Of course my starry-eyed self has continued on the admiration wagon with several local chef’s.   Recently I had the pleasure of meeting Chef Ivan Szilak of The Collections Café  at the new Chihuly Glass and Garden exhibit in the Seattle Center.

    karistaskitchen.com

    A lovely visit to Chihuly Glass and Garden and The Collections Cafe

    His delightfully seasoned and seared octopus was melt in your mouth decadent, not to mention the perfectly prepared seared Ahi Tuna sliders and Seattle’s Beecher’s fried cheese curds with red tomato jam.  Exquisite!

    Ranger Craig and I sat in unusual silence (I’m quite chatty) most of the dinner, unable to speak due to the sheer culinary delights.  Thank you Chef Ivan (and Mr. Ron Sevart!) for a most divine culinary experience.

    karistaskitchen.com

    Chicken Risotto, adapted from Elizabeth David

    When thinking about a recipe for this post, I contemplated calamari or maybe even a seared tuna.  But because Suzie Q keeps requesting risotto, and I have leftover grilled chicken in the frig, I thought this the perfect recipe for today.

    Elizabeth David is one of my favorite cookbook authors and her style is relaxed and straight forward allowing for the most stress free cooking.  This is the way I cook at home.

    A wine glass of this, a teacup of that, a drizzle of this, a dash of that and a most delicious meal has been created.  Little fuss, lots of love and large on flavor.  For this recipe however, I’ve broken it down into more exact measurements but feel free to improvise as much as you like.

    Delicious Wishes and Loads of Love!

    Karista

    Chicken Risotto (adapted from Elizabeth David’s Chicken Risotto)

    Serves 4 generously

    Ingredients

    2-3 cups of diced cooked chicken

    1 small onion, diced

    a clove of garlic, minced

    1 small red or green pepper, diced

    a tablespoon or two of butter

    Fresh chopped herbs, about 1 tablespoon (I like thyme, Italian parsley and oregano in this dish)

    1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

    1/2 cup white wine

    4 – 6 cups chicken stock

    1 1/2 cups risotto

    4 ounces or so of prosciutto, coarsely chopped

    2 tomatoes, diced (optional, I have one daughter who likes the tomatoes and one who doesn’t)

    1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    Pour hot water over the dried porcini’s and let them rest for about 15 minutes.  Once they are nicely plump and soft, drain them and dice.

    In a large heavy bottom pan or stock pot melt the butter over medium heat and saute the onions, peppers and garlic until wilted.  Then add the risotto and saute for a minute longer until the rice is nicely incorporated.

    Add the white wine and fresh herbs and stir.  When the wine is absorbed begin adding 1/2 – 1/3 cup stock at a time, gently stirring until the stock is absorbed.  Continue this process over medium heat until the rice is done, about 20-30 minutes.  I  like my risotto creamy, not stiff, so I usually add a little extra stock at the end of cooking.   This will make it easier to fold in the additional ingredients.

    Stir in the parmesan cheese.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.   Then gently fold in the porcini mushrooms, diced chicken, diced prosciutto, and tomatoes.

    Serve in individual bowls or serve family style.  This is a lovely one dish meal but can also be served with a salad of fresh greens tossed in a citrus or light vinaigrette.

    Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms, Leeks and Gruyere

    Tis the season for rich and creamy comfort food.  Risotto is a dish to be savored, and a lovely dish to be served Fall, Winter or Spring. This decadent risotto is filled with the distinct and exquisite flavors of porcini mushrooms, sweet leeks and classic Gruyère cheese. 

    For a dressed up dish add roasted asparagus tips or a small mound of braised greens such as swiss chard or wilted spinach.  Another divine risotto recipe, and actually one of my favorites, is the arugula and lemon risotto found under the vegetarian category in this blog. 

    However you prepare risotto, it will comfort the soul and satisfy the taste buds.  Enjoy this delicious dish and take a moment to savor the flavors of life!

    Happy Cooking!

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    1 ounce dried porcini mushrooms

    2 cups risotto

    ¼ – 1/3 cup chopped Leeks (white part only)

    1 clove garlic, finely chopped

    Extra virgin olive oil

    2/3 cup white wine

    6-8 cups chicken or veggie broth

    ½ cup shredded Gruyere cheese

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Italian parsley for garnish

    Directions

    Place the dried mushrooms in a heat safe bowl and pour 2 cups boiling water over the mushrooms.  Let them sit and soften for about 15-30 minutes.

    In a small to medium stock pot heat the broth over medium low heat until it almost reaches a boil.  Keep the broth at a slow simmer over low heat. 

    In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat.  Add the leeks and sauté for a few minutes just until the leeks are wilted.  Add the garlic and sauté a minute longer. 

    Next add the risotto and sauté until the rice is well coated with the oil, a minute or two.

    Add the white wine and stir gently until the wine has evaporated. 

    Now, start adding the warm stock ¾ cup at a time, stirring gently.  Once the broth has been absorbed, add another ¾ cup of broth and gently stir.  Continue this until the risotto is al dente or at the texture you prefer, about 25-30 minutes.

    If you need to walk away from the risotto for a minute that will be fine, but be sure to stay close and give it a gentle stir every few minutes.

    Once the risotto is done check for seasoning, adding salt and pepper as needed. 

    Drain the porcini mushrooms and coarsely chop.  Fold the mushrooms and the Gruyere cheese into the risotto.

    To serve, transfer the risotto to a large bowl or serving platter.  Garnish with additional shredded Gruyere and fresh chopped Italian parsley.  Serve immediately.

    Karista's Kitchen Kid Friendly Life Around My Table Pork Risotto Sassy Side dishes

    Risotto alla Veronese (Risotto with Ham)

    Risotto alla Veronese

    A few evenings ago I was preparing the most lovely risotto with porcini mushrooms, roasted asparagus tips and Gruyère cheese.  Doesn’t that sound divine?  Well, not to my little gal.  I could see the scrunched and scowling look on her face as she walked through the kitchen asking me what we were having for dinner.

    I realize it might be asking too much of  a pre-teen to get excited about porcini mushrooms and roasted asparagus.  So, with this in mind, I scooped out a portion of the delicious mushroom and asparagus free risotto and set it aside.  I remembered a recipe from a Tuscan book that included several risotto recipes for children.  One of the recipes that came to mind was the very simple Risotto Alla Veronese, risotto with ham.  My little gal would love this!

    Risotto alla Veronese // Karista's Kitchen

    Not only did my little gal love it, but my oldest gal thought it was pretty darn good as well.  And of course Ranger Craig had to get in on the action and see what all the fuss was about in the kitchen.  He also gave a thumbs up to this delicious little risotto.  I’d like to think of it as the little risotto that could.  Instead of one meal, it gave me two!

    I just love happy endings.  And this one was certainly a deliciously happy ending.  In the words of a friend of mine, Teri, “and no one cried!”  Happy Cooking!

    Risotto alla Veronese (Risotto with Ham)

    Serving Size: 4

    Ingredients

    • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
    • ¼ cup chopped shallots
    • 2 cups Arborio rice
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 6-8 cups vegetable or chicken broth
    • ½ cup grated parmesan
    • 1 cup diced or shredded ham
    • 1/2 cup baby peas (optional)
    • Salt and pepper to taste

    Instructions

  • In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer. Cover and keep warm over low heat.
  • Heat the olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped shallots and sauté until just tender, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.
  • Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently. Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 25-30 minutes.
  • Stir in the fresh grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with diced or shredded ham. Serve immediately.
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    Kid Friendly Sassy Side dishes vegetarian

    Creamy Risotto with Leeks and Parmesan

    In our family, my sister is the Queen of all things risotto.   Seriously, Kristin can make risotto to absolute perfection.  One of her family’s favorite risotto’s is her simplest version, creamy risotto with leeks and parmesan, and just for kicks, maybe a splash of fresh lemon. 

    This delightfully creamy and fresh tasting risotto can be served as a side with most any main dish, or as an entree.  I love this risotto as an entree during the fall and winter months, and often serve this recipe with grilled meats and fish during the spring and summer.  And although this yummy Italian rice takes a little more effort, it’s definitley worth it.  Once my family spots me stirring the creamy goodness, they all mysteriously appear in the kitchen ready to help stir, and taste test of course.  

    Happy Cooking!  And thanks to my brilliant sister for sharing this recipe!  

    Serves 4-6

    Ingredients

    2 tablespoons olive oil

    2 leeks finely chopped

    2 cups Arborio rice

    ½ cup dry white wine

    6-8 cups low sodium chicken broth or veggie broth

    ½ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

    Salt and pepper to taste

    Directions

    In a large saucepan bring the broth to a simmer.  Cover and keep warm over low heat.

    Heat the olive oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.  Add the chopped leeks and sauté until just tender, about 4-5 minutes.

    Add the rice and stir for about 2 minutes.  Add the white wine and stir until absorbed, about 1 minute.

    Stir in 1 cup of the warm broth and simmer until it is absorbed, stirring frequently.  Cook until the rice is almost tender, adding broth 1/2 cup at a time and stirring often, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, about 20-25 minutes.  

    Stir in the fresh grated parmesan and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a bowl and sprinkle with fresh chopped Italian parsley.  Serve immediately.

    Options:  Enjoy this Risotto served as a side dish for roasted or grilled meats and fish or as a main meal with a salad of fresh greens.  For a twist, squeeze a bit of lemon into the risotto when adding the parmesan.