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Friday, September 13, 2013

Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

Ok...confession. I have been putting poached eggs on everything lately. We have them for breakfast but they're been pretty popular on the dinner plate too - on grilled asparagus, over stir fry, with grits (such as this butternut squash and sausage hash), and this risotto is a good one. Never thought of an egg as a meal enhancer but I'm a believer now! (Stay tuned for my chorizo and fried egg tacos...YUM!).

People think that risotto is hard to make or that it takes a really long time. It doesn't. And it's a nice change from pasta and not as heavy as you'd think if you make it with some nice, fresh veggies.

4 cups chicken broth
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 leek, white part thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 zucchini, quartered and sliced
1 yellow squash, quartered and sliced
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup peas
1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped
(or any vegetables that you want to use!)
3/4 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
1 tbsp white vinegar
2 eggs

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the broth over medium-high heat and keep hot on the stove.

2. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, add the butter and oil. When hot, add the leeks, fennel, zucchini and squash and cook until soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook until mushrooms are soft.

3. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally so that the rice toasts a little. Add the wine and let simmer and reduce until mostly absorbed/evaporated.

4.Add a ladle of chicken broth and stir occasionally, until almost all liquid is absorbed. Then add another ladle of broth, stir until absorbed, and add more. Continue this process until all broth has been added and all has been absorbed. It should take about 20 minutes or so.

5. Add the peas.

6. Heat about 2 inches of water in a medium saucepan until it boils. Turn down to medium or a veeeery gentle simmer. Add the vinegar. Working with one egg at a time - if you have a small ramekin, crack the egg into the ramekin and then gently transfer egg to water (the ramekin will help the egg stay together). If you don't have one, very gently crack the egg into the water. Let them sit still for about 2 1/2 minutes. Transfer the egg to a plate with a paper towel.

7. Add the cheese to the risotto, give it one last stir and serve with poached egg on top.

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