Monday, August 20, 2012

Risotto Primavera

For the longest time, I feared risotto. It seemed so difficult to make, and I felt I didn't have the skills. But one day Giada De Laurentiis made a Dirty Risotto, a play on Dirty Rice, and I knew I was going to have to overcome my fear and take the plunge.

Yes, risotto is time-consuming. And it requires both your undivided attention and patience. But it's not difficult. It only goes wrong if you lose your focus.

And to be honest, I find it therapeutic to stir the risotto. After a long day there's something soothing and comforting in the repetitive motion. And when the dish is complete, it's emotionally comforting to eat, too.

A double whammy.

What makes this dish so fantastic is its versatility and the goat cheese. So, feel free to swap out the veggies below for others, but there's no substitute for the creamy, salty bite of goat cheese.

Now go take the plunge and discover the wonder that is risotto cooked in your own kitchen.

Risotto Primavera

Recipe modified from The Pioneer Woman
Makes 8 servings


  • 5 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus 1 additional tablespoon
  • 2 tablespoons butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon
  • 1/3 Vidalia onion, finely diced
  • 3 carrots, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 small yellow squash, finely diced
  • 1 small zucchini, finely diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 4 ounces goat cheese
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh dill, for garnish


  1. Pour chicken broth into a small saucepan. Heat to a simmer.
  2. In a large Dutch oven, heat 2 tablespoons olive and butter. Add diced onions and carrots. Stir a cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add squash, zucchini, and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove vegetables from pan and set aside.
  3. Add remaining olive oil and butter to the Dutch oven. Heat over medium-low heat. Add rice and stir, cooking 1 minute. Add half the wine, stir, and cook until liquid is absorbed.
  4. Over the next 30 to 45 minutes, add 1 cup of simmering broth at a time, stirring and cooking until each addition of broth has absorbed. Add the other half of wine and cook until absorbed.
  5. Taste to make sure rice is cooked; add another helping of broth if rice has too much bite to it. Once rice is cooked, remove from heat. Stir in goat cheese, Parmesan, and vegetables until all the cheese is thoroughly combined. Top with dill.

Note: Swap vegetable broth for the chicken broth for an vegetarian dish.

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