Red Pepper and Sage Risotto


Most people think of risotto as a treat eaten only rarely, at nice restaurants. However, it is fairly easy to make at home, and it is hearty enough to have as a main course at meal time. The possibilities with risotto are endless, but it can be perfected with just a few simple ingredients. Enjoy this with a salad or some fresh vegetables; I recommend grilled asparagus. This recipe makes 12 servings.

1 red pepper
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
6-8 cups vegetable stock
5 sage leaves, sliced thinly (chiffonade)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon butter
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1. Saute the pepper and onion in the olive oil in a large heavy-bottomed sauce pot at medium-high heat until it begins to become clear and and translucent. Then add the garlic and continue stirring for 1 minute before adding the rice. Stir the rice around the pot to coat it in the fat and then add the white wine and stir until most of it has evaporated. Meanwhile, have the stock heating up in another pan nearby on the stove.
2. Add a couple of ladles of the stock to the rice. Stir constantly, continuously adding the stock 1 ladle at a time as it disappears in the rice and/or evaporates. Adjust heat so that it is not cooking too rapidly, but a good, quick simmer is desirable. Continue this method for about 15-20 minutes, until all of the stock is gone.
3. Lower the heat or briefly remove from the stove and test whether the risotto is done by spooning up a grain of rice and biting into it. It should be tender, but not mushy; if it is still crunchy and tastes a bit starchy, then it needs to be cooked more. Simply heat up 2-3 more cups of stock. Don’t freak out if you have run out. Hot water will work fine.
4. Once finished, the risotto will have a creamy consistency, somewhat similar to oatmeal. Now, generously add salt, pepper, butter, Parmesan cheese, and the sage. Serve immediately in warm bowls with a little extra Parmesan and sage as a garnish.

Nutrition Facts: Calories: 180 / Fat: 5g / Saturated Fat: 2g / Carbohydrates: 41g / Fiber: 3g / Protein: 3g

Enjoy with Asparagus:

Asparagus is an excellent source of anti-inflammatory vitamin K, heart-healthy folate, vitamin B1, vitamin C, vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), and bone-building copper. It is also a very good source of energy-producing vitamin B2 and B3 as well as phosphorus; heart-healthy potassium, vitamin B6, and dietary fiber; antioxidant-promoting vitamin E and manganese; and muscle-building protein.

Look for rounded asparagus stalks that are neither fat nor twisted. Look for firm, thin stems with deep green or purplish closed tips. The cut ends should not be too woody, although a little woodiness at the base prevents the stalk from drying out. Use asparagus within a day or two after purchasing for best flavor and texture. You can store in the refrigerator with the ends wrapped in a damp paper towel.




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