Basicwomen's Blog

{November 16, 2010}   Risotto with Goat Cheese and Spring Vegetables

– by Jessica Verderame, Staff Writer

Risotto with Goat Cheese and spring VegitablesThese days, everyone is trying to shift their habits to become healthier and more budget-conscious.  For too many people, eating cheap means buying frozen meals, fast food, and processed junk that due to all of the preservatives, could last a lifetime.

Think about it: would you want your food to have a longer shelf life than you do?  What does that say about what you are putting into your body?  It is a lot simpler than people think to start eating healthier, and that doesn’t mean you have to spend most of your paycheck at expensive natural grocery stores.

The best way to save money and still eat healthy, delicious meals is to buy your fruits and vegetables while they are in season.  Produce that is in season not only tastes better, but is actually cheaper than vegetables that are out of season.  Spring is the perfect time of year for asparagus and zucchini, which is where the inspiration for this dish came from.

Risotto has a reputation for being difficult, but that is simply because it takes somewhat of a long time. But unless you think stirring a pot of rice is difficult, it is actually a very easy dish to make, and a good one to have in your repertoire; you can swap out the vegetables used for whatever you prefer or is in season.

By combining the classic technique for risotto with in-season vegetables and an added tangy twist of goat cheese, you can turn a boring risotto into a lighter, healthier dish. For a light dinner, this can be served alongside a salad. For something more substantial, serve with a light, flaky fish or chicken.

Risotto with Goat Cheese and Spring Vegetables

Serves 4-6


1 medium yellow onion, diced

Zest and juice of one lemon

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

1 ½ cups Arborio rice

2/3 cup white wine

5 cups of chicken stock, homemade or low sodium canned, simmering

2 medium zucchini, sliced into half moons

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed of tough ends and cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 of a cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

4 oz goat cheese, room temperature

2 tablespoons chives, for garnish


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté until translucent, but not browned, 3-5 minutes. Add rice and lemon zest and stir to coat with the oil, about a minute.

3.  Add the white wine and stir constantly until absorbed. Add the chicken stock, about a cup at a time, stirring constantly until all liquid is absorbed before adding more. This should take about 30 minutes, until the rice is al dente.

4.  Meanwhile, toss the vegetables with salt, pepper, and a little bit of olive oil and roast for about 10 minutes, until tender but still slightly firm.

5.  Towards the end of cooking, add the Parmesan and vegetables and stir to combine. Then, turn off the heat and add lemon juice and goat cheese. Stir until goat cheese is melted throughout. Serve in bowls and sprinkle with chives.

6.  Enjoy the meal!

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