Thursday, September 24, 2009

Risotto with Roasted Vegetables

After visiting the farmers market one Saturday afternoon, I became smitten with the produce sold at the booths. Armies of butternut squash stood tall, while squat eggplants lingered nearby. Red peppers were large and beautiful, streaked with green slashes of color- hallmarks of their idiosyncrasy and charm.

To really showcase the goodies, my roommate and I constructed a glorious meal out of risotto, spiked with red wine, and paired with roasted vegetables. Pretty straight forward, but elegant in it's own right.

Try to roast the very best vegetables because their flavor will become concentrated and add immensely to the dish. We topped this with a smidgen of goat cheese to add a creamy depth to the meal.

Risotto with Roasted Vegetables

1 cup arborio rice

1 teaspoon salt

lots of freshly ground pepper

1 box organic vegetable broth

A few splashes of red wine

1 eggplant, sliced into chunks

1 butternut squash, chunked

1 onion, sliced and chunked

2 zucchinis or yellow squash, slices and quartered

2 red peppers, sliced and chunked

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons dried basil or oregano

Organic, high quality goat cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 450 degrees. Place vegetables on a large baking sheet and massage with olive oil. Sprinkle salt, pepper and dried herbs over. Put in oven for 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat 1 cup of vegetable broth. When it comes to a boil, add arborio rice. Reduce heat to medium. Stirring constantly, keep adding more broth when the liquid is absorbed by the rice. This should take a relatively long time, around 30 minutes, but keep stirring! When the rice has absorbed ALMOST as much as it can, add a few splashes of wine for more flavor.
When the liquid is gone and the rice is tender with a slight bite, it is done! Serve in a bowl with roasted vegetables on top. Sprinkle goat cheese on the hot rice and vegetables so it melts a little.
Can you say yum?

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