Hubby and I love fresh vegetables, and try to have at least one or two meals a week where the veggie get to be the start instead of the protein. Risotto is one of my favorite (mostly) vegetarian dishes (I prefer chicken broth to vegetable broth).
Once you have the basic technique for risotto down, the combinations are almost limitless. I love grilled asparagus or green beans in a risotto, and it is easy to add in some fish or meat, too. For something a bit different, try substituting barley for the Arborio rice.
This is one of my favorite risottos–great in summer when fresh tomatoes are at their peak. The colors are beautiful, and it is delicious!
Spinach, Artichoke, and Tomato Risotto
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 ½ cups Arborio Rice
- 1 cup White Wine (I like Pinot Grigio)
- 2 teaspoons dried thyme
- 6-8 cups Chicken or Vegetable Broth
- 1 pint of Cherry Tomatoes, whole
- 4 cups Baby Spinach, chopped
- 1 cup canned or frozen Artichoke Hearts, quartered
- 3 oz. Parmesan Cheese, grated
- Balsamic Glaze, Fresh Basil, and Parmesan Cheese to taste
- Heat Olive Oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent. Add the Arborio Rice and continue to cook for a few minutes until the onion just starts to brown.
- Meanwhile, heat the chicken broth to a simmer in a separate pot.
- Add the wine and thyme to the rice mixture and stir until the liquid is mostly absorbed.
- Add chicken broth, a couple ladles at a time, stirring constantly, until the liquid is mostly absorbed between additions.
- Once the rice begins to soften, add the whole cherry tomatoes. Continue adding broth and stirring until rice is cooked through. (Be careful not to cook too long, or rice will get mushy.) The remaining liquid should be creamy.
- Add spinach and artichokes to rice with one more ladle of broth, and fold in until spinach is wilted and artichokes are warmed through.
- Remove from heat and stir in parmesan cheese and butter until melted.
- Serve in pasta bowls garnished with a balsamic reduction, fresh basil, and/or more Parmesan Cheese.