Risotto is one of Italy’s great culinary contributions. In Italy, risotto is often served as a main course, first course or side dish for meat, chicken or fish. Unlike many rice dishes, risotto should be served in a warm dish and eaten immediately. If done right, risotto is so rich, creamy and just plain dreamy. The simmering takes a bit of attention but none of the steps are difficult to do. it would be a wonderful dish to make for “Meatless Mondays” by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. The skinny for each fiber rich serving, 281 calories, 6g fat and 7 Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS. I hope you’ll give this absolutely delicious dish a try soon! Come on…It’s fun to try new dishes!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
6 cups Swanson’s reduced-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
3 teaspoons olive oil
1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
2 tablespoons shallots, minced
1 tablespoon garlic, minced
1½ cups dry Arborio rice, see shopping tips
½ cup white wine
2 cups fresh spinach, stems removed, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
2 tablespoons fresh chives or scallions, chopped
½ cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. In a saucepan, heat the chicken or vegetable broth over medium heat. Continue to keep hot but not boiling.
2. In a large nonstick pan, heat 1 teaspoon olive oil. Add asparagus and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and set aside.
3. Add 2 teaspoons olive oil to pan and heat. Add shallots, garlic and saute until soft about 2 minutes.
4. Stir in rice and saute until coated in oil. De-glaze pan with wine and cook until completely absorbed about 1-2 minutes. Add heated broth in ½ cup increments. Continue to simmer and stir often until each addition is almost completely absorbed before adding the next. Total cooking time for rice is about 40-45 minutes.
5. Stir in asparagus, spinach, peas, Parmesan cheese and chives. Season with pepper, to taste.
6. Serve immediately in a warmed serving dish.
Makes 6 servings (1 cup each)
Risotto literally means little rice. The short, plump, creamy grains of arborio rice are what make risotto so special. The exact origin of risotto is a bit of a mystery. Rice came to Sicily by way of Arabs in the eighth or ninth century. Monasteries discovered the crop a couple of centuries later and cultivated it in abundance, as it’s economical.
Arborio rice is an Italian-grown rice. It’s typically used to make risotto because it’s increased starch lends this classic dish its requisite, creamy texture. The grain is shorter and fatter than any other short grain rice.
Asparagus is great as a detox vegetable. It’s considered an anti-aging vegetable, helps to reduced inflammation and so much more. It’s high in folic acid, potassium, fiber, thiamine and vitamins A, B6 and C.
Unlike typical white rice, Arborio rice contains some fiber. It has 3 grams of fiber for ¼ cup uncooked rice.
You’ll find Arborio rice in most large supermarkets in the rice section. I used a brand from Italy called Il Riso Beretta.
The rate of simmering will affect how much chicken or vegetable broth you’ll need. Your rice might need more or less so have a little extra on hand. Adding the hot broth in increments and stirring the rice continually releases the starch slowly and enhances the creaminess of the risotto. When gradually adding the broth, the rice is done when the grains are al dente, a bit firm when you taste and not gritty. If in doubt, it’s best to under-cook the rice. It does continue cooking off the heat.
If serving as a main course dish serve with a simple side salad and you’ll be completely satisfied
Weight Watchers (old points) 5
Weight Watchers POINTS PLUS 7
|SKINNY FACTS: for 1 cup serving
281 calories, 6g fat, 13g protein, 43g carbs, 6g fiber, 770mg sodium, 4g sugar
|FAT FACTS: for 1 cup serving
383 calories, 14g fat, 19g protein, 43g carbs, 6g fiber, 1131mg sodium, 3g sugar