I planned to make a big meal on Monday night: Parmesan turkey meatballs, roasted cherry tomatoes, Ciliegine mozzarella balls and pasta, but when I got home from the supermarket I realized I had forgotten the pasta. Since it was already 8 p.m., and since I live in a six-story walk-up, I rescheduled the dish for another night—which left me with a bunch of vegetables. (You can't buy all that much at one time when you live in the city because you have to carry it home.)
So, with no real direction, I diced half a white onion, saut©ed the onions in a bit of extra-virgin olive oil, then added an array of vegetables: zucchini (green and yellow), green peppers, spinach and tomatoes. I remembered I had a little over 1/3 cup of risotto left from a few months back, so I mixed that in with the vegetables. I didn't have chicken stock, but I had heard somewhere that water worked just as well when making risotto, so I boiled and salted some water. When it came to a simmer, I started slowly adding it to the veggies and risotto—about 1/3 cup at a time. Unlike last time, when I continually mixed, not really giving the rice any time to heat, I let the rice and vegetables simmer for about 5 minutes per 1/3 cup of water, or until the rice almost looked like it was about to burn. This took about 20 minutes.
I was nervous that I would overcook the vegetables, but I didn't, and the zucchini held its crunch. I was also nervous that the veggie-rice ratio was uneven, but it was perfect (for me): full of flavor from the onions and the 2 tablespoons of Parmesan I added while simmering, overflowing with vegetables and color, and half the calories than if I had used chicken stock.–Brynn Mannino
What would you do with a bunch of veges if that's all you had? Tell us in Comments.
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