This risotto is full of vegetables and makes a nice main or side dish. It uses red vermouth instead of wine, which gives it a rich flavour and means you don’t have to mess around with spicing to get a nice flavour. To make 4 servings as a main dish, you’ll need:
4 cups of chicken stock (you might not use it all) – You can substitute vegetable stock for a vegetarian version
2 tablespoons of butter
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1 small onion or a shallot
2 cloves of garlic, minced or grated
1-1/2 to 2 carrots, quartered then sliced (1/8″ thick)
1 zucchini, quartered then sliced (1/8″ thick)
1/3 cup frozen peas
1-1/2 cups of arborio or carnaroli rice
1/4 cup of red vermouth (I’m sure white vermouth would be fine too)
1 tablespoon of parmesan cheese
Before you start, here are some basic risotto tips. The biggest thing is not to rush it. You can’t add all of the stock at once, but rather need to add it a ladle-full at a time. Another difference between this and most dishes is that it needs your full attention. Don’t leave it on the stove and go do something else. You should be stirring almost the whole time.
Prep all of the vegetables. Heat the chicken stock in a pot over medium-low heat. You’ll need to keep it warm throughout the risotto cooking process. In a deep pan, melt the butter over medium-low heat and add the olive oil. Add the garlic, onion, carrots, and zucchini. Sauté for 3-4 minutes then add peas.
Pour the rice into the pan and toast it for 1-2 minutes (it should start to look somewhat transparent). Add the vermouth and a ladle full of the warm chicken stock. Stir regularly until all of the liquid has been absorbed. The rest of the risotto making follows the same pattern: Add a ladle full of warm stock, stir and wait for it to absorb, add a ladle full of stock, stir and wait for it to absorb…you get the idea.
Once the rice is no longer crunchy, but still a bit al dente (“to the teeth” = just a bit chewy), stop adding stock and stir in the parmesan cheese. The risotto should have a creamy texture. Serve immediately. Buon appetito!