Basic Risotto with Seasonal Variations

    Risotto is the perfect canvas for seasonal produce. And, it’s easy to make once you’ve got the routine down. In the spring, make Asparagus & Morel Risotto. In summer, stir in arugula & cooked shrimp. For the fall, add cooked butternut squash & rosemary. In winter, serve Raddiccio & Pancetta Risotto.

    Be creative. Other great additions to risotto include fennel, scallops, carrots, mushrooms, peas, herbs or roasted garlic.

    1 cup Arborio rice
    2 tablespoons pure olive oil
    1 large onion, peeled and finely diced
    1/2 cup dry white wine
    2 1/2 cups broth or stock
    2 tablespoons unsalted butter
    1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
    2 tablespoons heavy cream (optional)
    Veggies or meat of your choice, cooked until tender.

    First, warm the broth to a simmer on the stovetop. You’ll be stirring the warm broth into the risotto later on.

    Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over low heat in a large heavy bottomed skillet. Saute the onions until translucent—do not brown.

    Add the rice, stirring to coat with the olive oil. Saute until rice is toasted—it will turn a whitish color—about 7 minutes.

    Gently stir in the white wine.

    After the rice has absorbed the white wine, add 1 cup broth, stirring occasionally, and cook over very low heat until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the broth, 1 cup at a time, until all the broth has been absorbed.

    (Adding the liquid in stages, instead of all at once, allows the grains of rice to expand more fully, adding to the risotto’s creamy texture.) Once the rice has been added to the pan, the entire cooking process will take about 17 to 20 minutes.

    After most or all of the liquid has been added and the rice is chewy yet fully cooked, add the butter, Parmesan, and heavy cream. Gently stir in any additional vegetable or meat ingredietns. Stir to combine all the ingredients and serve immediately.