September 30, 2009

Green Bean Risotto

5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 2/3 to 2 cups diced green beans
3/4 cup chopped crimini mushrooms
2 large shallots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup Parmesan, grated
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter

In a saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer. Heat oil and butter in a large saucepan Saute the mushrooms, salt, pepper, garlic and shallot until lightly caramelized. Add the rice and sauté for 2-3 minutes, stirring continually. Add the broth a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring continuously, and waiting until the liquid is absorbed before each addition. When you are about half way through the broth, add the green beans to the rice. Continue to add broth and stir. When the risotto is creamy and the rice is al dente remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan.

My thoughts:
Risotto is the ultimate 20 minute meal. It is quick, easy and infinitely adaptable. I had some "French-style" green beans that I didn't want to use as simply a side dish that ended up being an inspired choice for the risotto. They stayed crisp and added a lot of fresh flavor and texture interest to the creamy risotto.

The next day I made arancini di riso with the leftovers and instead of placing cheese in the middle, I used a cube of smoked ham. It was a delicious and easy lunch.