March 5, 2009

Edamame and Mushroom Risotto

I am always on the lookout for interesting vegetarian recipes. I was flipping through one of my magazines, where low and behold, I found this dish. I cut the article out and saved it, but I did not note which magazine it came from. I did a little online investigating and deduced that it came from the April 2009 issue of Family Circle magazine. Whew! I found it!!! Next time, I will just have to pay closer attention to what I am doing.
I love edamame and often buy it to have on hand. I like to steam it in the microwave, then top it with some flaked sea salt, for a healthy, mid-afternoon snack (it helps me keep the cookie cravings at bay). Believe it or not, it is a very satisfying little treat! Anyway, we have been having a lot of heavy meals lately, so I thought this would be a nice break. I am always a sucker for a good risotto!

Edamame and Mushroom Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil
8 ounces white button mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
1 pound frozen edamame
1/2 dry white wine
3 cups vegetable broth mixed with 1-1/2 cups water
1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup of half and half (optional)

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Set aside.

2. Cook edamame, about 5 minutes, following package directions. Drain, cool and remove beans from shells. Add beans to mushrooms in skillet. Discard shells.

3. Place broth and water in a medium-size saucepan and bring to a simmer.

4. In a large saucepan, heat remaining tablespoon oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice and stir until rice is coated with oil. Cook for 1 minute, stirring-. Add wine and cook until wine is absorbed -- about 1 minute

5. Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth mixture. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring, until broth is absorbed. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking in the same manner. This should take about 30 minutes.

6. Gently heat mushrooms and edamame. Stir into rice and remove from heat. Stir in the pepper, half and half, and 1/4 cup of the cheese.

7. Divide among 4 bowls and sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.

The Result:
This was really good. The husband really liked it. He had seconds, which is rare at our house. It was not as rich as most risottos, but still creamy and satisfying. The edamame made it pretty substantial, and gave it a fresh element. I loved the combination of flavors, with the earthy mushrooms and the green edamame. So yummy!

The edamame I used was pre-shelled (found at Fresh and Easy in the frozen section), so it actually saved me a step. I just steam-cooked them in the microwave and then combined them with the mushroom shelling involved. The only other changes I made was that I added a couple cloves of minced garlic and some Pecorino Romano cheese; maybe 1/4 of a cup. I mixed the two cheeses together, since I love the slightly pungent sharpness that a little Romano lends. Overall, this is a definite keeper. We are huge risotto fans, and I love having another version of this classic dish in my repertoire.

I made this risotto again, but changed up some of the base ingredients. Instead of edamame, I substituted peas. Then, I wilted some fresh baby spinach into it for a little nutritional boost. Lastly, I topped it off with some crispy, crumbled bacon as a garnish (I think I only used 4-5 slices total). YUM! I think I like the updated version better than the original recipe. This is a great basic risotto that you can play around with and add/subtract different items of your liking. (PS-Obviously, the bacon negates the "vegetarian" aspect of the dish, but it is a great addition if you are not adverse to a little pork product in your risotto.)

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