If the idea of making risotto puts you off for any reason, don’t let it. First off, risotto is not hard. Can you stir? Ok, you can make a risotto. Do you need to add lots of ingredients like wine and other things? Not really. Let me show you.
Let’s say you have a bunch of things in your fridge you want to use up. The other night I had a bit of fennel, some zucchini, some mushrooms, a very soft pepper, some wilty greens and a chunk of an eggplant. It was about 4 cups of veg. So what I did first was go to my tried and true recipe for risotto: Vegetable Risotto Recipe – NYT Cooking.
Now when it comes to veg, it calls for 5 green leaf lettuce leaves and dried mushrooms and some fennel. That’s a good list, but I ignored that. I did add the 6 tablespoons of butter and cooked an onion until it was soft. Then I added the veg I had in stages until they were all nice and soft. Then I scooped it all out and put it to the side.
Then I added another tablespoon of butter (maybe more…I like butter!) and followed the rest of the recipe. Then I added the rice and cooked it until it was glistening, then I started adding liquid. That recipe called for water, but I had a box of 900 ml of vegetable stock, so I used that. Then at the end, after the rice absorbed about 750ml of the liquid and was nice and al dente (but whatever, cook it to how soft you want it, it’s fine), I dumped in the cooked veg and warmed them a bit and then I dumped in a bunch of parm (it calls for 2 oz but I added more) and stirred it in until it melted.
Their recipe calls for nutmeg, which is nice. A half cup or a cup of chopped fresh herbs would be nice. (Basil, marjoram or parsley are my favs). If you don’t have parm, grate another hard cheese and add it. Heck, crumbled feta would be fine. It’s your party, toss in what you like in terms of cheese.
Just don’t make risotto a big deal. It’s a great way to use up veg (or cold cuts). If you only have a cup of veg, that’s fine. Maybe you have some frozen corn or a can of peas. Warm that up and add it at the end. Do you have a jar of roasted peppers maybe? Dice them up and add to the final dish. Same goes for tomatoes or any other vegetable you don’t need to cook.