This colorful spring classic has been updated with brown rice to deliver silica, magnesium and an array of B vitamins. Additionally it is chock full of fresh seasonal veggies. This risotto dish is cooked in the oven, eliminating the need for constant stirring, making this dish easy to prepare while abundant in nutrients.
Traditionally risotto is finished with Mascarpone cheese; however using Greek yogurt as we did in this recipe provides a healthier option. The yogurt creates a creamy consistency and scrumptious impression on the palate. Use fresh seasonal veggies from local farmers market and change them out according to availability to create a new dish with each season.
Serve alone or as a side dish. For additional protein add grilled chicken, lean steak or grilled/poached seafood on or to the side.
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
1 medium sweet onion, chopped
1 cup short grain brown rice
3 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (preferably frozen from gourmet health food store)
2 cups asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces.
1 cup sugar snap peas, shucked
1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 medium pepper)
1 cup sliced or shaved fennel
2 cups / broccolini, broccoli or broccoli rabe
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (optional)
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat leaf Italian parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives
2 cups of fresh baby spinach
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt
Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper to taste.
1. Preheat oven to 425 °F.
2. Heat coconut oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof high sided skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened. Stir in rice and garlic; cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Add stock and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven.
3. Bake until the rice is just tender, 45 minutes or so.
4. Shortly before the risotto is done, steam asparagus, peas, fennel broccoli and bell pepper until crisp-tender.
5. Fold the steamed vegetables, Parmesan, parsley, basil, thyme, chives, spinach, lemon zest, yogurt, sea salt and pepper into the risotto.
6. Garnish with sprigs of fresh parsley.