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Vegetarian Risotto with Asparagus, Mushrooms and Onion + Smoked Salmon Risotto with Lemon and Parmesan Cheese

Recipe adapted from here

If you've ever had risotto or seen someone cook risotto you know it can be a really long process that can't be rushed, that is if you want it to taste as good as it possibly could be. After the broth begins it takes approximately an hour to cook, since a lower temperature is required. Risotto comes from Northern Italy... I started cooking risotto because I wanted to try more of my heritages' dishes, and boy am I glad I started to learn how to cook risotto because it is delicious.

To get the best results when making your risotto you should use Italian Arborio rice. This is a fat, starchy, medium grain rice, and is the most common when making risotto. An outstanding Arborio meal is rich and creamy, so using a premium rice is crucial, if you don't you may wind up with something like sushi rice which will turn into sticky rice.

Here are two excellent risotto recipes that must be tried!

Ingredients:
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 6 stalk asparagus
  • 6 mushrooms - I used a mix of button and cremini
  • Bunch of spinach
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 green onion stalks chopped
  • 1/2 white onion, chopped
  • 1 sprig of fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Arborio rice
  • 1/8 cup white wine
  • Sea salt and pepper to taste
  • Asiago cheese
  • Parmesan cheese
Directions:

Heat the vegetable stock on the stove and keep it on warm. Chop your asparagus into 1 inch pieces, dice your yellow onion, and mushrooms into about 8 slices. Heat 1 TBS oil in a frying pan on med-high, add half of garlic and green onions, sauté for one minute but don’t let the garlic burn. Add vegetables and sauté for another 3-4 minutes or until they’re slightly softened. Remove vegetables to a plate.

Add 2 tablespoons of oil to the frying pan, heat on medium. Add remaining garlic and green onion, add rice. Mix well to get rice completely coated with oil. Add white wine and mix. When it’s nearly evaporated begin adding heated vegetable stock a ladle full at a time. Continually stir the rice and as the stock is nearly all absorbed add some more. Continue this process.

The rice will begin to swell and get creamy. As you approach using the last of the stock, begin testing the rice (you don’t want to use too much stock and make it mushy). As the rice is absorbing the last of the stock return the veggies to the pan and mix them in. Turn off the heat and sprinkle with cheese. Mix once more and serve.

Smoked Salmon Risotto with Lemon and Parmesan Cheese

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp EVOO
  • 3/4 cup of Arborio rice
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 package smoked salmon, divided
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ground pepper

Directions:

Reserving some large pieces of salmon to garnish, roughly chop the remaining smoked salmon and set aside.

In a large pot over medium high heat, add the EVOO and onion. Sauté for five minutes until the onion is soft and translucent. Add the rice and garlic to the pot and cook for two more minutes, stirring continuously. Add the white wine and a cup of the stock to the pot. Bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring frequently until the most of the liquid has been absorbed. Add another cup of the stock and continue to cook, stirring constantly until it too has absorbed. Repeat, until you've used all the stock and the rice is tender and creamy.

Remove the pot from the heat, add the Parmesan and stir until melted. Add the chopped salmon, parsley, lemon zest and mix. Season with fresh ground pepper and lemon juice to taste.

Plate the risotto with a some baby spinach and the pieces of reserved salmon.

Enjoy :)

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