I was not disappointed, it was delicious! I did make a change or two as the recipe used spring vegetables which I changed out for what was in the refrigerator! This is so creamy and the flavor is lovely...using saffron and asiago cheese made this side dish impressive!
Asiago Vegetable Risotto
adapted from It's Yummi!
2/3 cup unsalted butter, divided
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken stock, divided (chicken broth my be used)
2 pinches of saffron threads
1 medium zucchini, sliced and cut into 1/4-inch half rounds
1 cup broccoli flowers
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
2 green onions, diced
1 tsp black pepper
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/2 cup Asiago cheese, shredded
2 Tbsp fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 slices of bacon, (Applewood-smoked, if available) chopped, cooked until crisp, drain
Chop and cook the bacon until crisp. Drain and set aside.
Toast the pine nuts and set aside. To toast pine nuts, spread the nuts on a baking sheet and bake at 375° F., stirring occasionally until golden brown, about 5-7 minutes. Watch the nuts closely so that they do not burn. Alternatively, the nuts may be toasted in a skillet over medium high heat, stir frequently until brown spots form, about 3 minutes. (Be certain to keep an eye on them....they burn quickly!)
In a 3-4 quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir continuously until the grains are translucent; about 4-5 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup chicken stock and stir until absorbed; about 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium and add another 1/2 cup stock, saffron, zucchini, broccoli, red pepper, onions and pepper. Cook until all liquid is absorbed; stirring frequently.
Continue to add the remaining stock, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking each time until the liquid is absorbed.
When all of the liquid has been added and absorbed, stir in the lemon juice, Asiago and the remaining butter. The mixture should be creamy and the rice should be al dente.
Before serving, stir in the basil, pine nuts and bacon.
Not only was this a delicious side dish, it was quite tasty for lunch the next day!