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Gluten-Free, healthy and easy vegetable risotto

Updated on March 4, 2014

Healthy and easy vegetable risotto

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Healthy and easy vegetable risotto

This risotto, with its sweet tomatoes, crunchy asparagus, crisp peas and creamy cheesy goodness will get your most finicky eaters to the table!
This risotto, with its sweet tomatoes, crunchy asparagus, crisp peas and creamy cheesy goodness will get your most finicky eaters to the table! | Source
Gathering the ingredients
Gathering the ingredients | Source
Sweet grape tomatoes can be made even sweeter by simply roasting them!
Sweet grape tomatoes can be made even sweeter by simply roasting them! | Source
All roasted and ready for there risotto debut!
All roasted and ready for there risotto debut! | Source
You are looking for them to be brown on the bottom and starting to shrivel on the top.
You are looking for them to be brown on the bottom and starting to shrivel on the top. | Source
Just put them in a bowl and set them aside. You may want to move them far from you, they are easy to pop in your mouth while you cooking and before you know it, they are all gone!
Just put them in a bowl and set them aside. You may want to move them far from you, they are easy to pop in your mouth while you cooking and before you know it, they are all gone! | Source
If it's not raining, you can grill your asparagus too!
If it's not raining, you can grill your asparagus too! | Source
Saute your onions for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute.
Saute your onions for about 4 minutes, then add the garlic and saute another minute. | Source
Add your dry risotto and saute for about two minutes, just to get all the rice coated with oil.
Add your dry risotto and saute for about two minutes, just to get all the rice coated with oil. | Source
At this point you are going to add your white wine.  It will cook off very quickly.
At this point you are going to add your white wine. It will cook off very quickly. | Source
Start by adding a cup of your warm vegetable broth. You don't have to stir it every second.
Start by adding a cup of your warm vegetable broth. You don't have to stir it every second. | Source
I add my broth a cup at a time so it does give me a minute or two to check on the asparagus or grate some cheese.
I add my broth a cup at a time so it does give me a minute or two to check on the asparagus or grate some cheese. | Source
Asparagus is looking good, slighty brown and still crunchy.
Asparagus is looking good, slighty brown and still crunchy. | Source
This is my last cup of broth. At this point you will see and feel the risotto getting creamy and thicker.
This is my last cup of broth. At this point you will see and feel the risotto getting creamy and thicker. | Source
In go the prepared vegetables along with defrosted baby peas.
In go the prepared vegetables along with defrosted baby peas. | Source
If you are vegan you can stop right here and have a fantasic risotto!
If you are vegan you can stop right here and have a fantasic risotto! | Source
This cheese elevates this risotto to another level of flavor!
This cheese elevates this risotto to another level of flavor! | Source
I served this with half a fresh avocado drizzled with a fine balsamic vinegar. The flavor combo was heaven!
I served this with half a fresh avocado drizzled with a fine balsamic vinegar. The flavor combo was heaven! | Source

Roasted tomato and asparagus risotto

Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 30 min
Ready in: 1 hour
Yields: Serves six people

Farmer's market risotto

  • 24 plum or cherry tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2-3 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 bunch asparagus, washed and woody ends cut off
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine, something you would't mind just drinking
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 5 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups hot vegetable stock or broth, low-sodium
  • 1/2 cup grated cheese, I used for this recipe Fratelli Pinna Brigante, a mild but very flavorful sheeps milk cheese

Healthy roasted tomato and asparagus risotto

  1. Turn the oven on to 450 degrees. Wash and slice all the tomatoes in half and place them in a bowl. Add the olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt and ground black pepper. Mix well. Cover a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place each tomato cut side up. Roast the tomatoes for 20 to 25 minutes until they begin to caramelize. Remove from oven and set aside until the risotto is cooked.
  2. While the tomatoes are cooking you can prepare the asparagus by washing them very well. I find if you don't rinse the tips well enough they can have bits of grit and sand in them. Next, take out one asparagus and hold it near the bottom. Now just bend it until it breaks. It will break in the spot where there is less "woodyness" and more asparagus. You can stack up the rest and cut the bottoms off about the same spot the first one broke naturally or just hand snap all the bottoms off. The bottoms can be frozen and saved for making vegetable broth or composted. Place the asparagus on a cookie sheet and drizzle them with a bit of olive oil and some fresh ground pepper. Give them a gentle roll and toss so they are all coated in the olive oil and pepper mixture.
  3. Once the tomatoes are carmelized, remove them and turn the oven off and the broiler on. Place your asparagus under the broiler on the highest rack. It will take only about four or five minutes for the asparagus to brown. Once the asparagus is brown, remove from the oven and let cook. You can then cut them into bite size pieces. Set the asparagus aside and start on your rice.
  4. To start the risotto make sure your broth or stock is hot. It helps cook the risotto faster. Take a large saute pan and add three tablespoons of olive oli. Heat on medium and add the onions. Saute the onions and garlic for 3 to 4 minutes. Then add the dry rice and stir making sure that they are coated in the oil. You will next add your white wine-- be careful; the pan is hot and the alcohol will burn off fast. Stir the rice until the rice has absorbed all the wine.
  5. Pour enough stock or broth into the pan to just cover the rice. Keep stirring until most of the liquid is absorbed and then add one cup of liquid at a time until you have added all the broth and the rice is creamy, with a nice al dente bite to it.
  6. Turn the heat down by half and next add the cheese, tomatoes, peas and asparagus. Heat the mix for about 2-3 minutes until the vegetables are hot and the cheese is melted. You are now ready to serve your amazing risotto!

Risotto with asparagus, roasted tomatoes, peas, and cheese

There is nothing not to like about risotto. It creates it's own creamy and delicious sauce without any added cream or butter. You can also add any roasted, cooked or raw vegetable you find at the farmer's market. This is an excellent recipe to get your family to eat more vegetables. You can also leave off the cheese and it make it a vegan dish if you use a low-sodium vegetable broth. The risotto itself can be made in a pressure cooker but I prefer the my grandfather's method of the slow stir, watching it get creamy and delicious. In fact, the cheese I used was just a whim and it turned out to taste better than the reggiano parmigano which I usually use. You can see this recipe can be made into your special creation.

I served my risotto with avocado drizzled with a thick aged balsamic vinegar and sprinkled with black and white sesame seeds. Along with this side dish I served this meal with a beer made by Weyerbacher--one of my favorite brewers. This specific beer is called "Insanity". If you see it in your favorite beer and wine shop snap it up because it never stays on the shelf long!

Please don't let the long directions stop you from making this really simple dish!

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