We’re gluten free. You’re gluten free. You’re probably so over rice. But risotto is more like mac n’ cheese than rice-like. It’s sort of like a creamy pasta.
Does risotto intimidate you? It did me for a little while but I soon discovered the worst part of risotto is having enough patience. Otherwise it’s actually quite easy. Just don’t walk away from it and you’re good to go.
This is one of those “it’s worth the patience” scenarios. I don’t have enough focus to fold more than half my laundry, organize anything in my life, or finish any of the crafts I’ve started in the last umpteen years of my life, but I push through the minutia when it comes to risotto. It’s worth it.
But risotto feels like winter doesn’t it? It’s warm and creamy. Not typically a warm summer’s night kind of fare.
I set about changing that. Fresh broccoli, grape tomatoes, cucumber, lemon, and dill lighten up the dish. Then I stir in the feta. Oh how I love feta! It’s a hard cheese and doesn’t really melt but gets a teensy bit creamy from the heat of the other ingredients. Each bite feels fresh, healthy, and has the perfect lingering saltiness from the feta.
Have it in the summer. Eat it in the winter when you wish it was summer. Take it to lunch the next day – I thought it was great cold too. And if you’ve never made risotto give it a try. Don’t be scared. Just keep stirring (said in my best Dory voice) and you can’t screw it up.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ¼ cup white wine
- juice of 1 lemon (zest it first!)
- 3 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups broccoli, cut into small pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
- zest from 1 lemon
- ½ - 1 teaspoon salt (I used 1 tsp but my broth was salt-free)
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 1 cucumber, peeled and chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
- ¼ cup crumbled feta
- Chop, dice, peel, and measure out your ingredients before starting. This will make the whole risotto process almost painless.
- In 2-qt sauce pan heat olive oil over medium heat. Saute rice and garlic, stirring often, for 1.5 minutes. Stir in white wine and lemon juice. Cook for 1 minute.
- Add broth, about ½ cup at a time while stirring almost constantly and waiting until almost all the broth is absorbed before adding another ½ cup. This isn't hard, it's just boring! You may not need all 3 cups of broth. You'll know your risotto is done when it has a creamy consistency to it.
- Just before it's done, stir in broccoli, dill, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Allow to cook another 3 minutes.
- Remove from heat and stir in cucumber, tomatoes, and feta.