Summer Risotto

July 20, 2011


It strikes me as funny that as I write this post for a summer recipe, I’m listening to a band called The Decemberists (if only if were so cold outside).  But I find the music comforting, kind of like this risotto. And when when you’re sweltering in the summer sun, everyone should come into the cool for a bite of comfort food.


Just because it’s summertime, that doesn’t mean it’s all popsicles and ice cream (though I wouldn’t mind that at all). We’ve got to get those veggies in. Hidden in creamy risotto works for me.


Ingredients: (makes about 6 servings)

Adapted from Herbivoracious

6 cups vegetable broth

4 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 cup minced onion

2 cups arborio risotto

1/2 cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons salt

1 teaspoon pepper

1 zucchini diced

1/2 cup frozen peas

1 cup chopped mushrooms

1 Tablespoon fresh chopped basil

1/2 cup or more grated parmesan cheese


Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large, heavy pot. Sauté the onion for a couple of minutes until softened but not browned. Add the rice and sauté for a minute or two until it turns slightly translucent.


Add the wine and stir until absorbed.  I had a pretty generous hand with the wine, so feel free to add extra if you like the flavor. Boozy risotto is not a bad thing.


Next, add the broth one ladle at a time, stirring very frequently. When the rice begins to dry out, add another ladle. After about 15 minutes, begin to check the grains. When the rice begins to break down but is still slightly tough inside, add the vegetables, basil, salt and pepper. 


Add the last few ladles of veggie broth and work in the vegetables. If you’ve run out of broth, use water and add salt, if needed.  Within 5 to 10 minutes, the rice will become tender and creamy. Once the mix is thick and starchy, take it off of the heat and stir in the cheese.


Garnish with a bit more basil and more cheese. A squeeze of lemon would also be tasty if you’ve got one handy.


Bright and summery and oh, so comforting.


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Other posts you may enjoy:

  1. Sweet Potato Risotto
  2. Sweet Potato Mac ‘n’ Cheese
  3. Summer Dream Weaver Soup
  4. Summer Corn and Clam Chowder
  5. Veggie Pot Pie with Black Pepper Biscuits


Janee Juliano July 24, 2011 at 7:55 pm

This recipe was so delicious and easy! The only hangup was figuring out what exactly was “risotto” at the grocery store. It wasn’t in the Italian section, it wasn’t with the pasta (although I almost bought orzo by accident lol). So, I called my mother-in-law from Italy – she said it’s Arborio rice – in the rice section. Ah hah – now I see Jenn mentioned that in her recipe too – ditzy me! I was too pregnancy fatigued to bother with zucchini or mushrooms though – one bag of frozen peas worked beautifully – and I used the Safeway organic vegetable broth.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 24, 2011 at 8:12 pm

Yay! So glad you liked it! Yes, there are diff types of risotto, but I usually stick with arborio because it’s the easiest type to find.

Kelsey @ Snacking Squirrel July 23, 2011 at 9:44 pm

i love adding fresh basil to grain dishes- and it works so wonderfully in risotto- plus it adds so much color! this looks fantastic love!


Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 23, 2011 at 10:29 pm

Thanks, Kelsey! :)

Flyer Printing July 22, 2011 at 10:32 pm

I added some celery to add some smell. I’ve been doing this for many years as a gift for my boyfriend’s mom and she loves me for that. Wonderful flavors and terrific taste!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 24, 2011 at 11:55 am

Great idea! Glad you liked the dish. :)

Reese@SeasonwithSpice July 21, 2011 at 12:59 pm

In Malaysia, warm comforting foods always work for me in our year-round sweltering weather. We like to mix it up and this recipe is a keeper. Thanks for sharing Jen.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 21, 2011 at 3:10 pm

You are welcome and thank you for the comment! :)

Lisa @ Just here. Just now. July 21, 2011 at 8:37 am

Beautiful! Looks like a great recipe and a wonderful way to use up all my CSA zucs that I am drowning in!! Thanks for sharing.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

Perfect! Glad I could help. :)

kaceyt @ om&nom July 21, 2011 at 8:32 am

this recipe looks absolutely delicious! and your pictures are gorgeous!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 21, 2011 at 10:28 am

Thank you!

Aparna E. July 20, 2011 at 8:43 pm

First off, I LOVE the Decemberists!! <3 <3
Second, this sounds and looks super freaking delicious! And you made it with veggie broth without it getting too brown from the broth color (the problem I always seem to have). I HAVE TO TRY THIS SOON!

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 20, 2011 at 9:59 pm

I love them too! They are the best! Oh, try using a lighter colored broth to avoid the brown. :)

Aparna E. July 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

A light color brother?? ….(o_O;…they make that?! I have so much to learn :( Thanks for the tip!

Aparna E. July 22, 2011 at 8:04 am

er..BROTH. Oh dear. A lighter brother?! Please excuse that. I blame it on lack of sleep.

Jen @ Keepitsimplefoods July 22, 2011 at 8:14 am

Use a light veggie broth, rather than, say, a mushroom broth that is dark. Anything that is clear or yellow should work fine.

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