The Sunday before last, I was feeling a wee bit weighed down. Due to the extreme deliciousness of the chicken prosciutto panini at Aroma Coffee & Tea, I did my poor stomach a wrong. I ate the whole oversized thing. And then got a chai latte to go.
While I didn't feel overly stuffed after my good ole Big Fat American lunch/brunch (apparently, I'm used to gigantour restaurant portion sizes), I wasn't particularly hungry for the rest of the day. Even so, because I become an insane person when I go too long without food, I knew that I'd still need something to keep my belly beast purring through the night. It was at this critical juncture that I decided to make risotto.
I know, I know. Risotto? It doesn't seem like a light meal -- at all. On the contrary, risotto, with all its cheesy goodness, can be the perpetrator of a big kick to the stomach. Or at least it is when prepared with loads of butter and bacon and cream. Prepared my way, however, the dish can actually be a nutritional powerhouse and a delightfully light supper. It doesn't need lard or loads of animal fat to be good -- just like sloppy joes made with lean ground turkey instead of beef, or brownies baked with applesauce instead of vegetable oil, it is possible to make risotto a diet-friendly dish that will still knock even the pickiest of taste buds off.
I know this, because this dish, with its liberal use of lemon, still knocks my picky taste buds off every time I make it.
Diana's Lemon Vegetable Risotto
1/4 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup shelled Edamame, cooked
1/2 cup squash, cubed
1 large shallot, minced
1/4 cup white wine
1 cup chicken broth (I combined 1 teaspoon Better Than Boullioun chicken base w/ 1 cup water)
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt, pepper to taste
Combine white wine, lemon juice and chicken broth in a small saucepan and bring to a slow boil.
Meanwhile, heat a heavy pan over medium heat and saute shallot in a little olive oil until tender. Reduce the heat, add the rice, and stir until the edges of the rice turn translucent. Add some of the hot chicken broth/white wine mixture and season with pepper to taste.
Continue adding the warm broth/wine little by little, stirring occasionally, as it is absorbed. The rice should simmer at a slow boil until it reaches a slightly stiff consistency. Just before the risotto is done, add the cooked edamame and squash to the pan. Cook until squash is tender, and then add the Parmesan and lemon zest, reserving some for garnish. Serve immediately.