Vegetarian Risotto Primavera

Ingredients

generous 6-1/3 cups vegetable stock
8 oz fresh thin asparagus spears
4 tbsp olive oil
6 oz young green beans, cut into 1-inch lengths
6 oz young zucchini, quartered and cut into 1-inch lengths
generous 1-1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 onion, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
generous 1-5/8 cups risotto rice
4 scallions, cut into 1-inch lengths
2 oz butter
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp snipped fresh chives
2 tbsp shredded fresh basil
salt and pepper
scallions, to garnish (optional)

Method

  1. Bring the stock to a boil in a pan, then reduce the heat and keep simmering gently over low heat while you are cooking the risotto.
  2. Trim the woody ends of the asparagus and cut off the tips. Cut the stems into 1-inch pieces and set aside with the tips.
  3. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over high heat until very hot. Add the asparagus, beans, zucchini, and peas and stir-fry for 3-4 minutes until they are bright green and just starting to soften. Set aside.
  4. Heat the remaining oil in a large, heavy-bottom pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 minutes, or until it starts to soften. Stir in the garlic and cook, while stirring, for 30 seconds.
  5. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and mix to coat in oil. Cook, stirring constantly, for 2-3 minutes, or until the grains are translucent.
  6. Gradually add the hot stock, a ladleful at a time. Stir constantly and add more liquid as the rice absorbs each addition. Increase the heat to medium so that the liquid bubbles. Cook for 20 minutes, or until all but 2 tablespoons of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is creamy.
  7. Stir in the stir-fried vegetables, onion mixture, and scallions with the remaining stock. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently, then season to taste with salt and pepper Stir in the butter, Parmesan, chives, and basil.
  8. Remove the pan from the heat. Transfer the risotto to a warmed serving dish, garnish with scallions, if liked, and serve at once.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

Source: Risotto

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