Risotto with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Bell Pepper

Risotto with Spinach, Mushrooms, and Bell Pepper

What's the big deal about Risotto? Isn't it just rice mixed with a sauce and veggies, aka almost every Indian meal? 

I was out of ideas for what to make next, and too bored to make one of my old recipes. I decided to make a vegetarian risotto just to see what the fuss was all about. First, I picked up some Arborio rice. I hadn't even heard of this rice before - the grains are shorter and fatter than the 'regular' rice I usually cook with, which is Basmati rice. I wasn't convinced that this was going to turn out well. Would the veggies be well seasoned? How would the rice taste when I cooked it along with the veggies instead of separately in an electric cooker? 

Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups Arborio rice
  • 2 cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 8oz package button mushrooms, diced
  • 1 cup spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 cup any kind of shredded cheese, preferably Parmesan Reggiano (but I used a mixed 4 cheese blend bc it's all I had)
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Olive oil

Prep:

Heat olive oil in a pan and cook onions for 5 minutes or until they soften. Add red bell pepper and garlic and cook for an additional 5-6 minutes. Add rice to the pan and stir for 3 minutes, then pour in wine. When wine evaporates (about 2 minutes), slowly stir in chicken stock. Wait for the rice to absorb the stock, then add more as needed to fully cook the rice. About 15 minutes in, add the mushrooms and cook covered. When rice is fully cooked (total 30 mins), add the last bit of stock and the spinach. Cook until spinach wilts and remove from heat. Mix in shredded cheese, season with salt and pepper, and garnish with cilantro. 

This came out delicious with no issues whatsoever! yay! It's a healthy dish - the rice was creamy without any added cream or butter - and the veggies make it nice and hearty. Definitely making a this again (probably a variation, you could add meat, switch up the veggies, etcetc) It's simply too good to have just once.