Use your favorite vegetables like tomatoes, zucchini, mushrooms and onions in this delicious Italian side dish for Garden Vegetable Risotto.
My goodness I’ve really been slacking in the risotto recipe department lately haven’t I? When my daughter suggested that I use up some of the vegetables we had before they went bad for this Garden Vegetable Risotto I was trying to think of the last time we actually ate risotto.
I searched here on the blog and found it was back in October 2013 when I posted the recipe for Spinach Risotto. No wonder why she suggested that I make it again!
If you’re new here to CEK, I like simple, easy recipes using fresh ingredients and this one fits the bill perfectly. I’ll suggest which vegetables I used in this recipe below, but feel free to make it your own and add the vegetables you either prefer or happen to have on hand. I try to utilize what I have on hand rather than running the the store for specific items.
The only one that will know the difference is you (that is unless you show this recipe to your significant other and they want to know why you used yellow squash instead of zucchini, but I won’t tell if you won’t.) 😉
When making risotto, you really can’t speed up the process. It’s one of those dishes that will take about 25-30 minutes to make and you can’t make it ahead of time. Sorry. Well not really because that’s where the perfect tenderness of the arborio rice comes in.
How do you make vegetable risotto?
First you want to get yourself a large saute pan. You want to use something flat and wide versus a pot which is deep so that the rice cooks evenly and allows for even liquid evaporation. Heat some oil in the pan and add your chopped vegetables. Allow to saute until they start to soften; then add your arborio (short grain Italian rice).
I cut back on fat a bit from the traditional way of making risotto by using extra virgin olive oil instead of butter in this stage, but if you prefer butter, go ahead and use about 1 tbsp. Saute the rice for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown.
Next, add your liquid one cup at a time. For this recipe, I went the vegetarian route and used vegetable stock, but you can use chicken stock, white wine, water or a combination of any of these in it’s place. The ratio to rice is about 1 cup of rice to 3 1/2-4 cups of liquid.
Start by adding 1 cup of liquid to the pan and stir gently. Make sure your heat is on low. As the water evaporates, add another cup of liquid and repeat up to 3 1/2 cups. At that point, check the rice to make sure it’s cooked. If not, add another 1/2 cup liquid until the rice is fully cooked.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp. butter (regular or vegan if you follow a specific diet) until the rice has a creamy, glossy finish.
Now isn’t making Garden Vegetable Risotto easy? See, there’s no need to feel intimidated. This Garden Vegetable Risotto was so rich and creamy . Serve this as a side dish or add grilled shrimp or chicken for a complete meal idea.
My daughter gave herself a pat on the back for coming up with idea, she really loved this recipe. My how she has changed her views on cooking and eating over the last 4 1/2 years, which is one of the reasons that I started this food blog in the first place. ~Enjoy!
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Garden Vegetable Risotto
- Heat oil in a large saute pan and add your chopped vegetables. Saute until the vegetables start to soften; then add your rice.
- Saute the rice for about 1-2 minutes until it starts to brown.
- Start by adding 1 cup of liquid to the pan and stir gently. Make sure your heat is on low. As the water evaporates, add another cup of liquid and repeat up to 3 1/2 cups. At that point, check the rice to make sure it's cooked. If not, add another 1/2 cup liquid until the rice is fully cooked.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in 1 tbsp. butter (regular or vegan if you follow a specific diet) until the rice has a creamy, glossy finish.
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