Lemon basil risotto with peas corn and spinach

Risotto is a labor of love. If you have ever had authentic risotto, you know that it is a creamy, satisfying rice dish that is full of flavor. And, if you have ever cooked risotto, you know that it requires your time and patience – standing over the stove constantly stirring it until it is perfectly cooked.

I don’t make risotto often. It can be heavy and I usually don’t have the time to make it the way it should be made. But tonight was an exception. And after I ate this, I realized the true reason why I don’t make it too much. It is SO good! And I would be a balloon if I ate this all the time.

Although this is an indulgent dish for me, the addition of veggies and lemon really helps keep it fresh and light tasting. Feel free to add in your own variations to this recipe. Some mushrooms or shrimp over top would also be amazing in this and would really make it feel like a complete meal.

This is a perfect spring or summer dish to add to your table and I know you will love it if you take a little extra time to make it right.

Ingredients

3 Tbl olive oil
1 cup arborio rice
4 cups low sodium chicken stock (If you are a vegetarian, you can certainly use vegetable stock here)
1 cup dry white wine
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup frozen corn
1 cup frozen peas
2 cups baby spinach
1 Tbl butter
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1 Tbl basil, minced
1 Tbl lemon zest
salt/pepper to taste

In a small sauce pot, keep the chicken stock warm until needed.

In a deep saute pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and garlic to pan and cook until slightly softened. Pour rice into pan and toast for five minutes, stirring constantly. Add white wine to pan and allow rice to absorb most of the liquid. Once the liquid has almost all absorbed, add in one ladle full of chicken stock. Stirring constantly, allow rice to absorb the liquid in the pan and then add in another ladle of stock. Continue this process, stirring the entire time until all of the chicken stock has been absorbed into the rice and the rice is al dente.

Once all of the chicken stock is absorbed into the rice, add in the corn, peas, and spinach. Let the risotto cook for five minutes or until spinach has wilted and vegetables are heated through. Turn off the heat and slowly stir in butter, cheese, basil and lemon zest. Serve immediately.

*If your risotto seems a little dry, add in extra stock to thin it out.

Enjoy!!

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