Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto

As I hear rumblings of all things pumpkin just around the corner (yay!), I realized that my days of beautiful, fresh vegetables are numbered (boo). Which means I needed a recipe that used some of summer’s best. This risotto recipe from Cooking Light fit the bill: Asparagus, Sugar Snap Peas, Zucchini, Yellow Squash.. mmm.
8 ounces asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
8 ounces sugar snap peas, trimmed and cut in half
5 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 (8-ounce) zucchini, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
1 (8-ounce) yellow squash, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices
4 3/4 cups organic vegetable broth
1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
1/4 cup beer (I used a pilsner)
1/2 cup (2 ounces) grated fresh parmesan cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

Prepare your veggies while waiting for a large pot of water to come to a boil. 

Add the asparagus and peas and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to the pan and swirl to coat. Add the zucchini and squash to the pan and cook for 7 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

Add the vegetable broth to a small saute pan and bring to a simmer. Keep warm over low heat.

Add 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large saute pan or a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for 3 minutes. 

Stir in the rice and cook for 1 minute.

Add the beer and cook until liquid is absorbed, about 30 seconds.

Stir in 1 cup broth and cook for 5 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed. (You’re supposed to stir risotto constantly but I tend to get distracted and walk away. Whoops).

Continue to add the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring occasionally until each portion of the broth is absorbed before adding the next, about 22 minutes total.

Stir in vegetables and cook 1 minute or until thoroughly heated.

Remove from heat, and stir in the cheese, chives, lemon rind, lemon juice, and butter. Serve.
I love the creamy risotto with the crunch of the vegetables. I also love the colors in this dish!
The lemon adds a nice pop of citrus at the end which really complements the vegetables in this recipe. Definitely a winning dish!


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