This is such a beautiful recipe. Lightly sautéed spinach is what makes this dish so vibrant. When I want something light and healthy or I need to impress in a hurry I gravitate towards this dish.
Risotto is usually associated with a heavy meal loaded with stock, cream, butter and cheese. When food is clean, simple and beautiful it is easy to appreciate. It helps us reconnect with the joy of eating. I also love the guilt free factor of this dish. I feel like I’m indulging but I know I’m not. I don’t use any animal protein, including cheese. It’s full of vitamins and low in fat.
The flavors in this dish are delicate and don’t need any additions. The lemon zest adds a bit of zing. Serve this dish as a starter or a main. It can even be served cold the following day for a beautiful summer luncheon. It’s also a great way to sneak in some vegetables for your kids. So make a big pot of it, gather everyone around the table, put it in the center and appreciate the “oohs and aahs”!
“Emerald” Spinach Risotto
2 Cups Risotto Rice
6 Cups Vegetable Stock
1 Pound Spinach, ends trimmed and rinsed well
1 Large Garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
1 Lemon, zest only
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 Tablespoon Olive oil
Bring a large sauce pan to high heat. Add olive oil. Stir in risotto rice until all grains are coated with oil. Cook, stirring constantly for 3 minutes. Do not allow any grains to turn brown.
Add 1 cup of stock and stir constantly. Once boiling bring down stove heat to low. Make sure rice mixture is simmering.
Keep stirring every few minutes. As liquid is absorbed add 1 cup of stock in at a time.
After 30 minutes taste a rice grain to make sure it is still firm but not crunchy. The entire cooking process should take 30-40 minutes.
While rice is cooking, bring a large non stick skillet to high heat. Add some olive oil. When pan is very hot add spinach and garlic. Saute for about two minutes. Spinach leaves will wilt but the color should remain bright green.
Transfer spinach to a food processor and chop until completely smooth and almost liquid.
Once rice is tender add the spinach mixture and stir until it is well blended, about 2-3 minutes. Do not overcook. The spinach will lose it’s color if you leave it over heat for too long.
Garnish with some freshly cracked black pepper and lemon zest.
All recipes © Laura Dove