The.Boy. is still getting used to this whole “dating a vegetarian” thing.
The other day he informed me that if he were a vegetarian, he would eat fish every day.
Really. It happened.
Granted, he’s referring to the fact that I will eat fish on increasingly rare occasions. (Like…. .01 percent of the time. Mostly sushi. Mostly doused in soy sauce and wasabi and pickled ginger.)
I gave him a “did you really just say that?!?” look of shock.
Then there was Saturday when he plucked a package of tempeh bacon out of his fridge and said, “Do you want this disgusting thing back?”
Never mind that he had eaten a bowl of pasta that was chock full of it just a week before. And.Liked.It. (A fact that I very persistently reminded him of, don’t you worry.)
All that being said, he really is very good about not questioning what I put in front of him (that’s how I tricked got him to eat the tempeh bacon in the first place). And just diving in fork-first.
Hence why, the second time I cooked for him EVER. I made risotto.
We had stayed at his place and it was a spur-of-the-moment lunch decision. Risotto, at least to me, is easy. It doesn’t really require a recipe and uses minimal cooking equipment (I think he had a pot and a few butter knives. I’ve since equipped him with a few of my extra cooking implements.)
Not a big deal, right?
Except…he doesn’t like rice.
Somewhere in the back of mind, I think I knew this about him, but I just didn’t put the two together. And he didn’t remind me either.
Not when I told him what I was making.
Not when we went to the grocery store and I put a big box of arborio rice into the shopping cart.
Not when I dumped the whole box into his (only) pot and started stirring away.
Now, if this were my brother or father, they would have spent the entire time informing me that I was trying to murder them by feeding them their less-than-favorite ingredients. Not The.Boy.
I think it finally dawned on me just as he was about to take his first bite and when I asked him (in horror) why he hadn’t said anything, he just replied, “I knew if you were making it that it would taste good.”
Yup, he’s a keeper.
This recipe isn’t exactly the one I served him that day…but it’s close. At the least, the gist of it is the same. Tons of veggies with a hint of lemon and lots of creamy melt-in-your-mouth rice.
Even the rice-haters in your life will go back for seconds. Pinky swear.
Summer Lemon-Vegetable Risotto
Serves 4, adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 8 oz sugar snap peas, halved
- 5 tsp extra virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 zucchini, cut into half moons
- 1 summer squash, cut into half moons
- 4 3/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup finely chopped shallots
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
- 1 tsp grated lemon zest
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tbsp unsalted butter
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add asparagus and sugar snap peas and cook for 3 minutes. Drain and then rinse with cold water. Set aside.
- Heat 2 tsp olive oil in a large nonstick skillet. Saute the zucchini and summer squash until just starting to brown, about 7 minutes. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, bring the vegetable broth to a simmer.
- Add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to the pan. Over medium heat, saute the shallots until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and saute for 1 minute, constantly stirring. Add 1 cup of the simmering vegetable broth, stirring continuously until almost all of it evaporates. Add another 1/2 cup of the broth and stir until it evaporates. Repeat with remaining broth until rice is tender and cooked through, reserving 1/4 cup of broth.
- Add the veggies to the pan and cook for one minute or until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the reserved 1/4 cup broth, parmesan cheese, chives, lemon zest, lemon juice, and better. Season with salt and black pepper to taste.