Foundation Recipe,  Recipes,  Sides,  Starches

Springtime Risotto

Years ago I discovered the most amazing fact – risotto is so much easier to make when you start it on the stovetop and move it to the oven. I first tried the technique in one of my favorite “winter” cookbooks, Martha Stewart’s Favorite Comfort Foods. I loved the results so much, that any time I make risotto, whatever time of year, I always start use the oven technique and then adapt my flavors and ingredients to the season.

Springtime Risotto

Springtime Risotto
Author: Kate Wagner
Serves: 8
This really is a true foundation recipe. Get comfortable with the technique and then make this recipe your own – herb combinations, different vegetables, cheese choice – this dish can go in so many directions and be so great! I always find I want risotto leftovers – it makes a great breakfast or lunch too. I recently made this for Jeff and me to go with grilled lobster tails and grilled asparagus. I still made this much and enjoyed amazing lunches with leftover risotto and grilled veggies for a few days. If you don’t want this much just halve the recipe. Happy Cooking!
  • 4 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 Red onion, minced (I throw mine in the food processor)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 1 cup White wine (see note)
  • 4 cups Chicken stock, low-sodium
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • ¼ cup Butter, unsalted
  • ½ – 1 head Spinach
  • 2 tbsp Fresh herbs, any combination or just one (I used thyme and chives, but use your imagination)
  • 1 Lemon zested and juiced
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  1. Preheat oven to 450.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat canola oil over medium heat, add onion and cook, stirring until the onion is softened, 5-8 minutes.
  3. Add rice and stir until coated with oil, 2 additional minutes.
  4. Add wine and cook, stirring often until most of the wine is absorbed, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add chicken stock and kosher salt, stir to combine, cover pot and transfer to the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. Make sure all of the chicken stock is absorbed and the rice is tender if not return to the oven 5-10 additional minutes (check pot after 5 minutes).
  6. Carefully remove from the oven and add spinach, fresh herbs, lemon zest and juice, butter and cheese. Stir to combine. Put top back on the pot and let the pot rest for 5 minutes while the butter and cheese melt and the flavors meld. Enjoy!
When cooking with wine, do not use those awful cooking wines they sell in the grocery store! They are full of additives and don’t resemble wine in the slightest. If you don’t have leftover wine sitting around, use this trick of mine. Buy the 4 packs of sauvignon blanc or pinot grigio and use those for cooking. Each mini-bottle in the ones I buy is 1 cup, so I don’t even need to measure them out. And they stay fresh until you need them. Just don’t buy chardonnay – the oak notes in some chardonnays would not work in this recipe.

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