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Meatless Monday Recipe: Risotto with Spring Vegetables

This week’s Cary Hospital Meatless Monday recipe contest winner is Michelle Van Vliet, RN, BSN, CNOR.  Michelle works as an orthopaedic supervisor in the operating room.

She says of her winning recipe, that “Risotto with Spring Vegetables is always a hit even with the meat lovers. It is usually served as a side dish, but can really be a meal in itself.”

What a better way to celebrate the beginning of spring than with a savory, colorful dish full of nutritious spring vegetables!  Michelle’s recipe was selected based on taste, color and fresh ingredients.

All About Risotto
Risotto is a classic rice dish originating from northern Italy.  It can be used as an appetizer, entrée, or a side. Made with a short-grain rice, risotto is economical, nourishing and easy to make.

Risotto with Spring Vegetables
2 Tbsp olive oil                                                     
½ green peas (boiled 2 min and drained)
1 cup chopped shallots                                       
1 bunch asparagus
½ cup chopped carrot                                        
1 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup uncooked Arborio rice                            
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed                   
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup white wine                                                 
¼ teas ground pepper
4 cups vegetable stock                                                                                                       

Start by preparing all veggies:
1.     Dice carrots and shallots.
2.     Boil peas for 2 minutes, drain and set aside.
3.     Chop asparagus into 1-inch lengths

Cooking Instructions:
1.      Heat oil in a large Dutch oven over medium heat.  Add shallots and carrots to pan and cook for 4 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally.
2.     Add rice and saffron; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly.
3.     Stir in wine, cook 30 seconds or until the liquid is nearly absorbed; stirring constantly.
4.     Add 1 cup stock.  Cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is absorbed.
5.     Add ½ cup stock and stir until liquid is absorbed.  Repeat, adding ½ cup stock and stirring until liquid is absorbed until all liquid has been incorporated.  With last ½ cup addition of stock add the peas and asparagus. This process will take approximately 25 minutes.
6. Remove from heat once all liquid is absorbed; stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper

Remove from heat once all liquid is absorbed; stir in cheese, parsley, salt and pepper

Spring is officially here!  Try other North Carolina spring favorites vegetables, including bok choy, celery, rutabaga, spinach, arugula, broccoli, green onions, greenhouse tomatoes, kale, mustard greens, turnips, spring onions and sweet potatoes.

Want to know what’s in season all year round? Check out North Carolina’s fruit and vegetable printable availability chart.

Would you like to learn more ways to improve your health through diet?   Schedule an individual consultation with a dietitian today by calling the Cary Hospital Outpatient Dietitian’s office at 919-350-2358.  If you are a Cary Hospital employee or volunteer, submit your Meatless Monday recipe today.