Tuesday, July 19, 2011

New Friends and Summer Risotto

All photos taken on my very-much-not-an-iphone-phone camera. I've more or less decided that the new camera will have to wait until I have a deeper savings. I'm squirreling away to get my own place so that might take priority. Or I'll cave and impulse-buy the camera. Who knows...

So last week I borrowed an old friend's kitchen, this week I borrowed a new friend's kitchen.

The day I started my first post-college-career-job I shared an office with the only other early-20-something employed there. Turns out, not only was he also brand new and fresh out of college, we pretty much became instant friends--despite the fact we're polar opposites.

They moved him to another office to be close to his department, but considering my office is adjacent to the only color copier in the company, he passes through often.

It certainly wouldn't be quite as interesting to work there without him.

I've been meaning to try this recipe ever since I saw it on We Are Not Martha. It just seems like the perfect summer dish. Since my friend is a he-man who refuses to eat anything sans meat, grilled chicken was also added.

Risotto is notoriously difficult--or so Top Chef tells me. This made me extremely paranoid and I went from thinking it was too watery before adding the veggies to thinking it was not watery enough after adding the veggies. I remember Padma and Tom sending a Top Chef Master home because his risotto didn't spread. Guess I would have to pack up my knives and leave if I was competing.

Still tasted dang good though.

Lemony Summer Risotto
(From We Are Not Martha with only minor edits)

Forgot to take a These Are The Ingredients photo, here's
a Messy Chopping photo instead

  • 4-5 C vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbs butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 C arborio rice
  • 1/2 C dy white wine
  • Zest of 1 lemon

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 small bunch asparagus, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

  • 1 small zucchini, chopped

  • 1 small summer squash, chopped
  • 1 tsp dill
  • 1 1/2 C corn (fresh or frozen. If frozen, defrosted)

  • 1 bunch basil

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1/2 C parmesan
  • dash of white pepper

Bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan, then lower to a simmer. In a separate medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook about 3 minutes, until onions are transparent.

Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, then add wine and stir until the rice absorbs the wine. Add the lemon zest.

Add 1 cup of the warmed vegetable broth to the rice. Stir and let the rice absorb the stock. Quote directly from We Are Not Martha: "While I don’t believe you have to stir like a crazy person like some risotto lovers will have you believe, I do think you should check on the pot every couple minutes and give it a good stir, so the rice doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot." I did stir like a crazy person through most of this, and some rice still stuck to the bottom. So some sort of happy medium I think is best.

Once the broth is absorbed, add the rest of the broth a cup at a time, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid before adding more. The rice should be tender but not goopy.

Meanwhile, warm the olive oil and add the veggies. Sprinkle with dill and pepper. Cook until tender.

When your risotto is done, add the corn, basil, lemon juice, parm, asparagus and zucchini.


  1. You did a great job with the photos. This looks really delicious and perfect for summer!

  2. I'm impressed! That's a pretty good looking risotto. You also managed to take some good pictures of it with a camera phone. Kudos to you!

  3. Lovely summer flavors in this risotto, so nice with citrus!

  4. Love your rissoto very summery and fresh.