Risotto is very versatile and it is considered a staple dish in Italian cuisine. It can be served as a main course, side dish or appetizer and there are so many variations of how you can make it. Risotto is a very simple dish to make, except that you need to invest the time to stir frequently. The first time I made risotto was when I had guests over for dinner and they loved it. So naturally, I love to cook it whenever folks are coming over for dinner. Everybody typically comments about the rich, creamy and flavorful taste. This Creamy Spinach Risotto Recipe is one of the many ways we enjoy it; you can tweak it to be vegetarian or add shrimps or lobster meat to make it a one dish meal. The spinach adds a nice green touch plus it is also a healthy addition to this recipe. This spinach risotto also reminds my palate, somewhat of creamed spinach.
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Creamy Spinach Risotto
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
- 1 cup Arborio rice rinsed
- 1/4 cup shallots finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 6 ounce baby organic spinach
- 10 fresh basil leaves
- 1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
- 1/3 cup fresh grated asiago cheese
Heat the chicken broth in a saucepan over high-flame. Once the broth comes to a near boil, lower the flame to simmer or turn off the stove.
While the broth is being heated, heat olive oil in a four-quart Dutch oven pot over medium-low flame.
Add the shallots and saute for three to four minutes.
Add the garlic and saute until fragrant - a few seconds.
Add the rice, salt, and black pepper. Stir to coat.
Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed.
Add one cup of the hot broth and gently stir constantly with a wooden spoon until the broth is absorbed. Continue adding the broth one cup at a time and stir until absorbed. The rice will start to look and feel creamy. This process takes about 20 minutes.
Add the spinach and basil and keep stirring to incorporate with the rice. The spinach will be fully wilted within two to three minutes.
Turn off the stove. Add the cheeses and stir to incorporate. The rice will be creamy and tender with a slight grain.
Plate and serve as a side dish, an appetizer or a main course.
You can substitute vegetable broth in this recipe. You can also use asparagus - add it during the last five minutes of the cooking process. Use a dryish drinkable wine as I always do - I like a Pinot Grigio or Chardonnay and it does not have to be an expensive bottle.