Zero Waste Spring Vegetable Risotto

Risotto
Chef Joel and our buddies at Cabot Cheese are teaming up to bring you this zero waste, totally cheesy, veggie packed risotto! They're using Cabot's Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and a ton of it. Come cook with us to ring in Spring, it's time to get cheesy!
Serves: 2 - 3
Ingredients:
  • 6 cups water
  • 1 yellow onion, finely diced (peels rinsed and reserved)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (garlic skins rinsed and reserved)
  • 4 sprigs thyme (leaves and stems separated)
  • 8 ounces of asparagus (root ends cut off and reserved)
  • 8 ounces mushrooms of choice (alternatively 15 - 20 leftover mushroom stems)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1/3 cup shelled fresh English peas (substitute with frozen)
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 ounces Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, grated, plus more for topping
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

 

Procedure:

  1. To make a “quick zero waste stock,” add the water, onion peels, garlic skins, thyme stems, and asparagus root ends to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer.
  2. Prepare the mushroom by chopping them into small pieces, including the stems, and setting aside. For the asparagus, cut off the tips and set aside. Slice the stalks of the asparagus into thin disks and place with the rest of the prepared vegetables.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a deep-sided skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms to the pan and cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
  4. To the pan, add in the onions and garlic and stir, cooking until the onions soften and become translucent. 
  5. Add in the chopped asparagus and the arborio rice and stir everything together. Cook while continuously stirring, until the rice grains look pearly.
  6. Pour the wine into the pan followed by the thyme leaves and stir until the rice has absorbed all of the wine. 
  7. Using a fine mesh strainer, strain out the onion peels, garlic skins, thyme stems and asparagus ends from the quick stock.
  8. Add the stock, a ladle or two at a time to the pan with the rice and stir in a clockwise direction. When most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, continue to add a ladleful of stock. Allow the rice to continuously absorb the liquid before adding more stock. 
  9. Once the rice is cooked through and the risotto looks creamy without being too saucy, stop adding stock. You may use the entire amount, but it is important to continuously check for the correct consistency throughout the process.
  10. Add the English peas and stir, cooking for about 1 minute.
  11. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the butter and grated Cabot Vermont Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, and season to taste with salt. 
  12. Allow the risotto to sit for a few minutes to set and then serve with additional cheddar grated over the top.
     
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