Yeah, you heard me. I said carrot purée. If you guys know me by now, you know I love sneaking in extra vegetables where I can. And if it adds more color, it's a win win. This risotto is rich, creamy, aromatic, and has just a hint of sweetness from the carrot purée. It pairs really nicely with a simply arugula salad (and a crisp glass of white wine), and is always impressive to guests. The only problem with risotto is that it doesn't really reheat that well, so you're just gonna have to finish this whole thing tonight :)
A lot of people have this misconception that making risotto requires a higher level of skill, but honestly, it's one of the easiest things you can make- it just requires your near-undivided attention. I think the babysitting aspect of making risotto is what deters most people, but I find it to be extremely therapeutic. The heady scent of white wine and onions cooking together will fill your kitchen and make you feel fuzzy inside, and there is something so calming about the repetition of stirring and ladling, stirring and ladling, stirring and ladling.... see what I mean?
*Kitchen Tip* I've found that the best way to make risotto is with a glass of wine in your free hand... ;) Have I mentioned I like wine? But really, you deserve it. You're going to be standing at the stove for an hour- treat yourself.
It's important to always keep your broth at the same temperature as the rice. As the rice continues to cook and absorb the broth, it will puff up and release its' starch, which is what gives risotto that signature creaminess. Adding liquid that is too cool will reduce the risotto's temperature, interrupting the cooking process and causing the risotto to cook unevenly.
• 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (uncooked)
• 4 1/2 cups vegetable stock (in general the larger cartons of stock are about 32 oz. Feel free to use water for that last 1/2 cup)
Note: you may need more or less broth
• 1 cup white wine (plus more for you)
• 1 small onion (chopped)
• 3 garlic cloves
• 3 tbsp butter
• 4 carrots (chopped in large chunks)
• 1/3 cup frozen sweet peas (thawed)
• 1 cup of broccoli (cut into florets)
• 1/3 cup zucchini (diced)
• 1 cup grated parmesan
• 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
• 1 tbsp olive oil
• Salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
**Be sure to have all ingredients measured out and chopped up before you start the risotto**
• Start with your purée. Add carrots, water (just enough to cover the carrots), and a pinch of salt to a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and allow carrots to cook until tender. Saving the liquid, remove the carrots and add to a blender or food processor. Add about 1/4 cup of the cooking liquid and blend until smooth. Add about a tbsp of cooking liquid as necessary, until carrots have reached the right consistency. It should basically have the consistency of baby food- very smooth, but not too watery. Set aside when done.
• Heat the broth in a small saucepan until the liquid starts steaming. Adjust heat as necessary to keep the liquid hot, without simmering, as you cook the risotto.
• Over medium heat, melt the butter in a large pot. Add onions and cook down until translucent, about 4 minutes. Add salt, pepper, and garlic. Cook until fragrant, about one minute.
• Add the rice, and give it a few stirs so that the butter covers all of the grains. Let the rice toast for about a minute, stirring occasionally.
• Add wine, inhale the AROMA, and let cook until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Note: throughout the duration of this process, you will be adding liquid and cooking down until most, not all, is absorbed. You always want a thin layer of liquid covering the rice.
• Add a ladleful of broth (about 1/2 cup) and continue to stir occasionally until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue to repeat this process until you've added half of your broth.
• At this point, add in your carrot purée, and with that same method, stir occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Then return to ladling in the broth. Continue doing this until your risotto is creamy and al dente.
• While your risotto is cooking, heat a tbsp of oil in a non-stick skillet. Add broccoli, with a pinch of salt, and sauté until bright green. Add zucchini and continue to sauté until tender. I like to get a little sear on the zucchini as well. Remove from heat and set aside.
• Once risotto is done, add in your broccoli, zucchini, peas, and parsley. Stir to combine and cook for about a minute, allowing all of the flavors to come together.
• Add parmesan and stir until cheese has melted
• Season with more cracked black pepper. Taste before adding any extra salt- parm is salty on its' own
Hi! I'm Shantal.