Spring Vegetable Risotto


If you haven’t made risotto yet, don’t let it scare you away. I generally get the sense that people find this dish intimidating to make. It must be all the hype about the constant stirring, not to worry it’s easy and really not all that labor intensive.

Arborio rice is traditionally used when making risotto. It has a high amylopectin starch content, making it an ideal rice for this creamy dish. Arborio rice also undergoes less milling than many long grain rice varieties, allowing it to hold onto more of its starches. It is the starch that is released from the grain during the cooking process that makes this dish so deliciously creamy. Adding the stock in batches allows the grains to cook evenly, pulling the starch from the grain and creating a rich, creamy texture.

This recipe is simple and delicious, highlighting fresh spring vegetables and poached eggs. Adding poached eggs adds a rich flavor and depth from the fresh yolks as well as lots of protein. The mushroom-miso broth is quick and painless to make, not to mention great for you. They are making better shelf stable stocks nowadays and that is an option too, but making your own always adds great flavor and nutrition, and you always know what you are getting when you make it yourself.

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Spring Vegetable RisottoIngredients
  • 1 c arborio rice
  • 4 c mushroom-miso stock, recipe below
  • ½ c white wine
  • ¼ # mushrooms, sliced thin
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 c shelled peas
  • ½ c kale leaves, chopped
  • 2 eggs, poached
  • parmesan (optional)

Bring stock to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of oil and mushrooms and cook, until tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Heat another drop of oil in same pot over medium heat. Add shallots and cook until softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to toast, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.

Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring occasionally  until rice is tender but still firm to the bite, about 20 minutes total.

While rice is cooking, blanch the peas in the hot broth. Place peas in broth and cook for 2-3 minutes, until tender but still have a bite. Remove with a slotted spoon and run under cold water. Set aside with mushrooms and kale.

When rice is cooked, add kale, peas and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt and pepper if needed.

Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved parmesan, and pepper.

Serves 2 as an entree.

IMG_9959Quick Mushroom-Miso Stock
  • 1 oz dried assorted mushrooms
  • 1 large onion roughly chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 1 t olive oil
  • 1 T organic miso
  • 5 c water

Heat a medium pan and add oil. Add onion and garlic and saute until soft, about 2 minutes. Add mushrooms and water and simmer on medium-low heat for about 20 minutes, until broth has a rich mushroom flavor. Stain with a fine mesh strainer, reserving all liquid. Discard mushrooms/onion/garlic, and return stock to the pot. Whisk in miso. If using right away for risotto, cover and keep warm over low heat.

To Poach the Eggs:

Heat water and vinegar while the risotto is cooking, and cook eggs when risotto is almost done.

Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add 1 T vinegar(any vinegar will work, or lemon juice). Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with second egg. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl.