I’m currently sitting in the most darling little café in Victoria, BC. I’m here on a mini-vacation with a friend. Which, as you may have guessed, translates into lazy mornings sipping coffee followed by slow walks through the town with frequent stops to sample the local cuisine. And by “cuisine”, I’m mostly referring to the Callebaut Chocolate and the Nanaimo Bars.
Have you had a Nanaimo Bar before? I had heard of them, but never had the opportunity to try one until now. I’ve tasted a few so far since I’ve been here (= research), and while they have all been a bit different, I can say for certain that they are all delicious. I think it’s definitely something I’ll be re-creating once I’m back home in Seattle. Update: I made Nanaimo Bars and you can find the recipe here!
Today, I’m bringing you my favorite Baked Spring Vegetable Risotto. What makes this risotto recipe my favorite? How about the fact that there is NO STIRRING involved!!!
OK, minor exaggeration. And sorry for yelling. You do have to stir it a couple times to get all the ingredients incorporated. But that’s it. You actually bake the risotto in your oven, freeing you up from the typical 30-ish minutes of standing at the stovetop. So sorry, but you’ll have to get your arm workout somewhere else this week.
And since you’re no longer chained to your kitchen, it’s a risotto that you could actually make for a Holiday gathering (Easter or Mother’s Day brunch maybe?) or dinner party. You’ll be free to mingle with your house guests and enjoy that glass of wine. Or three. Just keeping it real.
Recipe adapted from Real Simple Magazine
Baked Spring Vegetable Risotto
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 8 ounces button mushrooms, sliced
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1-inch pieces
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. black pepper
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 3 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- Pre-heat your oven to 425 degrees.
- In a medium oven-proof pot with a tight fitting lid, melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and sauté, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped asparagus and sauté for an additional 2 minutes. Transfer the mushrooms and asparagus to a small bowl and set aside.
- Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the pot and sauté the diced shallot, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2-3 minutes. Add the salt, black pepper and minced garlic and sauté for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the white wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pot, until the wine is almost evaporated, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the vegetable broth and Arborio rice. Bring everything to a boil, then cover the pot and transfer it to your pre-heated oven. Cook for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the pot from the oven and carefully remove the lid. There may be a 1/2-inch of liquid remaining on the surface. That is OK. It will get absorbed by the rice as you stir in the remaining ingredients. Stir in the peas, spinach, Parmesan cheese and the reserved mushrooms and asparagus. Adjust for salt and pepper. Serve warm with additional Parmesan cheese, if desired.
- Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days.