I had never heard of risotto until I met my late husband who is half Italian. I can say that now, because he wished he was 100% Italian (his father was born in Florence, Italy) but his Mom was born in Canada, so he was half Italian and half French Canadian.
One of the first things my husband and I loved about each other – and don’t laugh – but we both have a major distaste to onions, yet both our moms put onions in almost everything. When we would complain, they would say “You can’t even taste them!” to which we would reply “Then why are they in there?!”
When my sweet mother-in-law Bonnie was visiting, she made risotto, and I learned how to make it from her. And because she loves me, she used super fine diced green apples in place of the onions, and I’ve never made a risotto since without apples. It gives such a delicate sweet taste to the risotto and compliments the salty Parmesan cheese.
Feel free to substitute any of your favorite veggies – I used carrots and zucchini, but butternut squash or delicata squash would be delicious too.
You need Arborio rice for this dish – I’ve tried to make it with regular rice and it doesn’t work out. Arborio rice is a high-starch, short grained rice and when cooked, releases its starch so you get a nice and creamy risotto.
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/2 cup apples, diced
1/2 cup zucchini, diced
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1/4 cup shaved Parmesan cheese
1 cup Arborio Rice
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of crushed red pepper
Spray a skillet with avocado oil. Add carrots, apple and zucchini and saute for about 3 minutes. Add in rice and stir for a minute. Add ½ cup of the chicken broth at a time, making sure that the previous broth was absorbed before adding more. You’ll know when it’s time to add more when you draw your wooden spoon down the middle of the pan, and no liquid releases.
Once all the chicken broth has been absorbed, finish with the 1/2 cup of wine. Once that is incorporated, remove from heat and stir in the salt and pepper, crushed red pepper and Parmesan cheese.
Garnish with chopped chives and parsley. This would be a perfect side dish for your Thanksgiving table!
We have some great seasonal classes coming up at The Chopping Block:
- Autumn Farmhouse Tuesday, November 12 7pm Lincoln Square
- Date Night: An Evening in Italy Saturday, November 9 6pm Merchandise Mart
And you can’t miss out on our Thanksgiving classes. Choose from our hands on Thanksgiving Workshop or demonstration Thanksgiving Crash Course and you'll learn everything you need to make your Thanksgiving dinner a success:
- Thanksgiving Workshop Sunday, November 10 10:30am Lincoln Square
- Thanksgiving Crash Course Saturday, November 16 10:30am Merchandise Mart
- Thanksgiving Crash Course Wednesday, November 20 10am Lincoln Square
- Thanksgiving Workshop Saturday, November 23 10:30am Merchandise Mart
- Thanksgiving Crash Course Sunday, November 24 10:30am Lincoln Square
- Nontraditional Thanksgiving Sunday, November 17 11am Merchandise Mart
- Vegan Holiday Dinner Sunday, November 24 11am Merchandise Mart
Be sure to make your reservations soon!