Sunday, December 28, 2008
Garden Vegetable Risotto
How often do you travel to a relative or friends, or really any place you aren't free to cook your own meals, and are inundated with cheap, processed foods with caloric contents that negate all your trips to the gym for the last 8 years? I know it happens frequently, and though my family isn't too bad about it, and for some it's due to an infrequent access to reasonably priced produce, I often find myself longing for my own kitchen to whip up something fresh and healthy that won't cause my arteries to cringe in horror.
One place Mr. TA and I frequent is the MiL and sFiL's house in the D.C. area. Blessedly the MiL is just as concerned about putting healthy food on the table as I am, coupled with a palate that commonly outreaches my own. It's a pretty happening place to be.
Last night the MiL was kind enough to whip up a soy and dijon marinated King salmon with a Garden Vegetable Risotto. If there's any other way to taste this much spring in a dreary winter on the Eastern Seaboard I am unaware of it. There's obviously no shortage of root vegetables in the winter, and with the addition of some tail-end-of-the-season zucchini and winter hardy parsley this risotto just screams of warm, breezy days and sunshine on your face.
If winter's already starting to get you down, do not fail to ring in your January with this baby. It will assuredly get you through the bleak, snowy winter to the spring budding trees, fluffy bunnies and sunshine and rainbows.
Plus snuggly puppies.
Garden Vegetable Risotto
1/2 lb. baby spinach leaves
1 quart chicken/vegetable stock, more if needed
1/3 cup butter
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots, diced
1 leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 small zucchini, diced finely
1 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup white wine
kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, minced, for garnish
grated Parmesan cheese, for garnish
Wash spinach and chop roughly. Heat stock in sauce pan on stove to just below a simmer and keep warm. Melt butter in heavy bottomed, shallow pan. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until softened. Stir in carrots, leeks, celery and zucchini. Season with a pinch of salt and some pepper to taste. Cook 5-7 minutes or until nearly tender. Stir in the rice and cook until the butter has been absorbed and looks transparent. Add the wine, and stirring constantly, cook until all has been absorbed. Add in the spinach and the the stock, a ladleful at a time, cooking until absorbed before adding more, until rice is tender and creamy. This should take 20-25 minutes, and do not hesitate to use more stock if needed. Garnish with fresh chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.