… Making a Simple Dinner Special!
Creamy risotto can make even a simple dinner seem special. And it’s much easier to prepare than you might think. Risotto requires more attention than cooking regular rice. Cooking basic rice is simply bringing water and rice to a quick boil, then reducing heat, covering, and letting it cook uninterrupted for the required time. Risotto is more of a bathe-and-stir process. Simple, but not unattended. Because the “add-in” ingredients cook while the risotto is cooking, the whole process really doesn’t take more time than many easy weeknight meals, so if you’re feeling intimidated by it – please don’t.
With a few basic ingredients, and a little bit of time, gluten-free, dairy-free risotto can be donning deliciously savory wholesome goodness and dressing up your dinner plate. If you’re looking to cook up a vegetarian risotto recipe, simply substitute the chicken broth with vegetable broth and omit the prosciutto (or sub with sautéd mushrooms – yum!). Risotto also makes perfect leftovers for a nutritious and filling lunch. Don’t tell anyone, but I even think it’s delicious for breakfast and a great way to get my busy day started.
Gluten-free Dairy-free Prosciutto Asparagus Risotto
Cooking time: 25-35 minutes
Serves: 4 main dish portions or 6 side dish portions
6 cups chicken broth – I use Swanson’s Natural Goodness Chicken Broth
1/2 cup sherry, optional
3-4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 red onion, peeled and chopped
1 clove garlic, peeled and diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
20 spears fresh asparagus, tough ends removed
1 teaspoon crushed dried basil
3-4 slices prosciutto, finely chopped
5-6 ounces pecan halves
Heat broth and sherry in a pot to a low simmer. Keep at a simmer during the entire risotto cooking process.
Warm 2 Tablespoons oil in a large, heavy skillet or Cast Iron Dutch Oven (my favorite choice).
Add about 3/4 of the red onion and all of the garlic and sauté about 2 minutes.
Pour in the rice and let cook 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. The rice will become translucent on the edges with a white dot in the center. Now it’s ready to absorb the broth.
Add 2 ladlefuls of broth (about 2 cups) to the rice. Stir and let simmer until about half of the broth has been absorbed. Repeat 1 ladleful at a time, stirring to incorporate then letting sit unbothered to absorb the broth to the half way point before adding more. This process takes about 20 minutes. The more the rice is stirred, the stickier and gummier it becomes. A little stirring is fine, but just letting it simmer for the most part is a good thing. If you need more liquid during the cooking process, either use additional broth or plain water, but heat to a simmer to keep a consistent temperature when adding the liquid to the rice. Risotto is ready when it is al dente and slightly creamy.
Toast pecans in a dry pan over low heat while the rice is cooking, tossing them occasionally to toast both sides. When they become aromatic and quite warm to the touch, remove from the heat and set aside.
Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a medium sauté pan then add remaining onion, asparagus, and basil. Cook about 4 minutes, stirring periodically to brown on all sides. Add prosciutto and continue cooking until it browns and the asparagus is fork tender. Set aside until the risotto is done.
Stir the asparagus-prosciutto mixture into the cooked risotto.
Garnish with toasted pecans and a drizzle of oil over each serving and serve hot.
Safe food is a journey … Thrive!™
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