Easy Vegetable Rissoto
Risotto-a warm Italian rice recipe is a perfect dish for the winter season. Slow cooked in vegetable broth, cheese, veggies and butter this makes a delicious main course. The method of cooking and the rice variety used is what makes Risotto somewhat different from some common rice dishes such as fried rice, pilaf or pulav.
The creamy texture of Risotto comes with the special variety of rice used to make it, and the slow cooking to release the starch from the rice.The Risotto should be served in a flat plate and should be eaten within few minutes of serving; else it can become too dry.
The special varieties of rice used are mainly; Arborio and Carnaroli. While the former will give a soupy Risotto the later will make a creamy and firm Risotto.
- 1 cup of short grain rice or Arborio rice
- ½ cup of brown rice
- 1 onion
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 ½ cups of mixed veggies
- Salt as desired
- ¼ tsp. of black pepper
- ½ cup of Parmesan cheese
- 1 small cup of White wine (optional)
- 1 tbsp of olive oil
- 1 tbsp of butter
Method: Pick and wash the rice in clean water. Heat a skillet and fry sliced onions in 1 tbsp. of olive oil for 1 minute. Add the washed rice and fry for 3-4 minutes till the edges look opaque. This helps seal the chewy quality of the rice.
Add all the diced and sliced veggies. Colored bell pepper, Broccoli, Sweet corn, Peas are there into my Risotto. Fry the whole mix for another 1 minute. At this stage add the white wine, which is optional. This gives a distinct flavor to Risotto.
Vegetable Broth: veggie broth of Stock is the flavored liquid made by boiling leftover veggies in water with a few spice. The resultant liquid is further strained to get Stock, while some of the residue in small pieces are left in broth.
For making a veggie broth, boil any leftover veggies, the unused stalks of coriander, spinach and other such greens are wonderful ingredients. Add a few peppercorns, bay leaf and a little salt to the water. Boil the water for about 1 hour at slow flame.
Add the vegetable broth made by the above mentioned process, ladle by ladle stirring once or twice in between. Follow the same step till the whole broth is used.
Add the butter and stir the rice. Sprinkle white pepper powder, salt and half the grated cheese and again stir.
Take a small bowl and fill it with the cooked Risotto and pres it lightly with the back of a ladle. Empty the bowl on a clean flat serving plate, sprinkle some more cheese and serve hot.
- If you are a connoisseur of food, make this dish with the special rice meant for Italian Risotto.
- The broth does make a good difference, but if you are short on time just cook it with plain water.
- Avoid the cheese to watch on your diet. It will still taste delicious.
- Make a plain Risotto with just spring onion as the main veggie, as is done in most of the authentic Italian Risotto.
- White wine as an ingredient gives a distinct and authentic flavor to Risotto. But it is totally optional and depends upon individual preferences.
- I have cooked this recipe with normal small grain, brown rice , Basmati rice and even Barley! I did not find much difference as far as the texture and taste is concern. Probably I am not a real connoisseur 🙂
For more on Rosotto;
Happy & prosperous 2011 to all of you!