If I had to pick a favorite single food that comforts me the most, it would probably be rice, especially when made into risotto. For years, I thought risotto was too hard to make. But this recipe proved me wrong. It's easy, quick, and delicious. Our optional additions add color and flavor, but few calories.
Serves 4 to 6
5 to 6 cups Vegetable Stock, or Chicken Broth, or canned reduced-sodium chicken broth, heated
1/2 medium onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon olive or vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups arborio rice (uncooked)
1/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan Salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces cultivated or wild mushrooms (caps wiped clean with a damp cloth, and sliced)
1/2 cup defrosted frozen peas
1/2 cup blanched broccoli florets
6 stalks asparagus, cooked and chopped
Bring the stock to a boil in a saucepan and keep it at a gentle simmer.
In a large heavy saucepan, cook the onion in the oil over moderately low heat for 5 minutes or until it is softened. (If using the optional mushrooms or red pepper, add them at this point and cook the mixture for an additional 5 minutes.) Add the rice and stir it to coat all the grains well with the onion mixture. Add the wine and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. When most of the wine is absorbed, stir in 1/2 cup of the broth. Simmer the rice, stirring constantly, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Continue cooking and adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each portion be absorbed before adding the next. After the last broth addition, the rice should still be chewy and creamy.) This whole process should take about 25 minutes.
Stir in the Parmesan and the salt and pepper to taste (and any of the optional ingredients, if using).
Nutritional Analysis per serving, without optional additions: 239 calories; 16% calories from fat; 4 grams of fat; 676 milligrams of sodium
Source: Joan Lunden’s Healthy Cooking by Joan Lunden and Laura Morton