Risotto is a labor of love. It takes a lot of love to stand over the pot of arborio rice, slowly stirring in the warm broth for up to an hour. But, it’s worth it.
This giant batch of spring vegetable risotto is filled with flavor and vegetables. You won’t believe how satisfying the dish is. Even my meat-loving family loved this vegetarian and gluten-free option!
And you guys, instead of using white wine to flavor the dish, I used beer! Shh…don’t tell my husband that I ‘borrowed’ one from his stash.
The risotto is creamy without the added calories of heavy cream or cheese and there are hints of lemon throughout the dish. It’s such a refreshing meal for your spring time dinner. Plus, it’s a great way to use those farmers market vegetables!
To top it off, I had no idea until I read the label that arborio rice was naturally gluten-free! What a pleasant surprise that was. So, sit back, listen to some good music and enjoy your hard earned risotto.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
inspired by The Little Ferraro Kitchen
- 2 medium sweet onions, diced small
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 3 leeks, rinsed and diced small
- 3 zucchini, diced small
- 3 yellow squash, diced small
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 cups arborio rice
- 8 ounces beer, room temperature (choose a gluten free beer to make it gluten free)
- 6 cups vegetable stock (or 6 cups water and 3 vegetable bouillon cubes)
- 10 ounces frozen peas
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- zest of one lemon
- juice from half a lemon
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onions, garlic, leeks, zucchini and yellow squash in the olive until the onions and leeks are opaque. Add in the rice and cook for 3-5 minutes or until the outside of the rice turns slightly opaque. Pour the beer in and allow it to soak in.
- Meanwhile, in another pot, bring the vegetable stock to a boil.
- Once the liquid from the beer has been soaked up, add 1 cup of hot vegetable stock at a time, each time stirring occasionally until the liquid is soaked up. Repeat this until you’ve used all of the vegetable stock.
- Once you add in the last of the vegetable stock, add in the peas and spinach. Allow the last of the liquid to soak up (it will be creamy in consistency).
- Finally, add in the lemon zest and juice. Serve warm and enjoy!
Servings: 6-8, as a full meal
I’ve never thought of using beer in a risotto – what a great idea!
I’m absolutely certain that this is the most gorgeous risotto I’ve ever laid eyes on, Caroline!