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October 2004 Issue
The Essential Eating Well Cookbook
by Ronda L. Halpin
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Baked Risotto Primavera

This updated spring classic calls for nutty-tasting short-grain brown rice instead of the traditional white arborio. Because the cooking time is longer with whole-grain rice, this risotto is cooked in the oven rather than on the stovetop, eliminating the need for almost constant stirring.
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 1/2cups)
  • 2 medium onions, chopped (about 1 1/2 cups)
  • 1 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice (see Note)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 2 14 1/2-ounce cans reduced-sodium chicken broth or 3 1/2 cups vegetable broth
  • 8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
  • 1 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 medium)
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3 1/2 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, preferably organic
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
Ingredient Note: Use short- or medium-grain brown rice to achieve the characteristic creamy risotto texture.
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F

  2. Heat oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in rice and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.

  3. Bake until the rice is just tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour.

  4. Shortly before the risotto is done, steam asparagus, peas and bell pepper until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes.

  5. Fold the steamed vegetables, Parmesan, parsley, chives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. Serve immediately.
  • Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each.
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes | Start to Finish: 1 Hour 10 Minutes | Ease of Preparation: Moderate
  • Per Serving: 267 Calories; 8 g Fat (3 g sat, 3 g mono); 11 mg Cholesterol; 35 g Carbohydrate; 12 g Protein; 3 g Fiber; 607 mg Sodium.
  • Nutritional Bonus: 65 mg Vitamin C (110% DV), 30% DV Vitamin A, 253 mg Calcium (25% DV) .
 
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