Risotto with summer vegetables is a wonderful dish that I first tasted in a trattoria in Rome. If you are feeling weary from cancer treatment and are looking for something tasty yet soothing, this dish is it. The vegetables are diced small, about the same size as the peas, cooked separately and stirred in at the very end so that they keep their color and bite. Now although you can make risotto the old fashioned way, with elbow grease and stirring, I don’t any more. I find a pressure cooker makes short work of risotto, a boon during cancer treatment when less work is definitely better, so that’s the method of choice here. That said, if you don’t have a pressure cooker, check Ann’s Tips for the classic way to make this easy, delicious summer treat. Enjoy!
- In a small pot, bring the stock to a boil over a high flame. Cover and turn the heat off. Set aside.
- Meanwhile in a pressure cooker, over a medium high flame heat the olive oil. When it starts to ripple, add ½ the shallots and sprinkle with salt. Cook stirring until they turn transparent.
- Add the rice and cook stirring until it starts to get translucent round the edges. Add the white wine and cook stirring until it is absorbed. Add all the warm stock. Stir to mix. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and lock. Once the pressure comes up, lower the heat to medium and cook 6 minutes.
- Once the rice has cooked under pressure for 6 minutes, take it off the stove and immediately run under cold water over the lid to release the pressure. It will give a big sigh when it does this. Turn off the water and open the cooker. You will have a soupy looking risotto with rice that is chewy and barely al dente.
- While the rice is cooking, melt 1 teaspoon of the butter in a small sauté pan. When it foams, add the remaining shallots and cook stirring until they are transparent, about 1 minute. Add the carrots and zucchini and sprinkle with salt. Sauté until they start to soften and become tender, about 5 minutes. By this time the rice should be ready.
- Take the risotto back to the stove and quickly bring to a simmer over a medium-high flame. Stir the sautéed carrots and zucchini, then the frozen peas and cook 1 minute. Turn off the heat and vigorously stir in the remaining butter, the Parmesan and the lemon zest. Cover. Let sit for 5 minutes. The risotto will now be creamy looking instead of soupy, and the rice al dente. Taste for salt. Serve with extra grated cheese if desired.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
For the classic method of making basic risotto, click here and continue from step 5.
If your risotto thickens too much while it’s sitting, stir in a little extra warm stock.
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