I’m dying for it to be spring but it is just sooo not. Regardless, I’m applying a mind over matter attitude by whipping out the bring colors, faux tanned bare legs (not my best decision ) and lighter spring dishes in the kitchen like this spring vegetable risotto. I used some of my favorite spring flavors like bright asparagus, earthy mushrooms and fresh spinach, plus added in a little bacon for some smokiness. Spring may not be here yet but with a few more dinners like this one, it’s only a few stirs away.
Spring Vegetable Risotto with Bacon
1 1/2 C arborio rice
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 very small onion, diced
1 C white wine
4 C chicken stock
7-8 stalks asparagus, chopped
1 C baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 C fresh spinach, chopped
6 pieces bacon (optional)
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 C grated parmesan cheese
cracked black pepper
In a large sauce pan, add olive oil, arborio rice and onions and begin to toast over medium heat for about 1 minute. Add in white wine and cook, stirring occasionally until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Add 1 C stock, continuing to stir until liquid is again absorbed. Repeat process, continually adding stock and stirring until it is absorbed. When most of the liquid is gone, test rice. It should be slightly al dente and creamy.
Meanwhile, add chopped asparagus to saute pan and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about 5 minutes and add mushrooms. Cook for another 2-3 minutes until mushrooms begin to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add spinach and reduce heat to medium-low. Continue cooking until spinach is wilted.
Meanwhile, cook bacon according to your favorite method. When I have multiple pans going, I like to microwave my bacon. To do so, place 2 paper towels on a plate and cover with bacon. Place one paper towel on top. Cook for about 6 minutes. Chop into small bites.
Transfer vegetables and bacon into risotto and reduce heat to low. Fold in parmesan until it melts. Cut butter into four small squares and fold into risotto. Season with additional salt and cracked pepper.