here in St. Louis, summer fever is at an all time high right now – no thanks to the sky for losing control of its bladder for the last, oh I don’t know, 1000000 days, give or take.
but just in time for the sun to come out for my most favorite and least memorable holiday (not because it’s no fun, but because…… tequila).
Cinco de Drinko.
Just kidding. I sat home drinking the most non-traditional beverage (red wine, gasp) eating Italian Meatballs in my PJ’s on the couch, attempting to watch netflix (no thanks to my crappy internet service that literally pauses every 5 seconds) as per every Friday of my current adult existence.
But with this summer fever- post rain horror story, now chilly sunshiny weather-, all I have been wanting to create are summer inspired comfort meals. And what better than combining my two favorite loves. roasted summer vegetables + rice. Creamy rice. Sans cream. Lightened Summer Vegetable & Chicken Sausage Risotto.
And thanks to Uncommon Goods for having the most ridiculously awesome cookware for the kitchen & bar I was able to bring this recipe to a whole new level (flavor + aesthetics). I received the earthenware cooker, stoneware oil/vinegar dispenser and the steel herb chopper. And if that couldn’t be anymore risotto inspiring than I don’t know what is. Not only am I obsessed with all three items, but I love how the company sells goods from unique and independent artists/designers across the country. They even have a blog dedicated to the designers workspaces. Also about 1/3 of the goods found on their site are made from using upcycled/recylced materials. They also, being an independently owned company, have the ability to support causes that they believe in and so with every purchase, they will donate one dollar to the non-profit of your choice. Liiiiiike. Is this real life?
Feel free to fire up the grill for these vegetables to get more of a summer vibe, but sometimes an oven is just so much easier.
Do not be afraid of risotto. It’s really quite simple. The only thing it doesn’t allow you to do is multi-task, but I mean, a dish is best made when sole focus is given, and this rice needs it. So stay in the kitchen, listen to music, dance yo pants off, while wearing a belt so they don’t actually fall off (or if you have a butt like mine, they will never ever have the chance of falling of their own, sigh). And maybe wipe down a countertop or two. Or don’t. Just stare at the mess and pray that it will learn how to clean itself. That’s what i like to do.
A little goes a long way. 1 cup of dried arborio rice makes enough to feed a good 4 to possibly 6 people. As it slowly cooks and stirs, the rice gives off an incredibly creamy texture that is also very filling in small amounts. No cream actually needed which is the best part. And then top this with the sausage and vegetables you are good to go, skip the dessert because you won’t have room.
- 1 bunch skinny asparagus, stems trimmed
- 1 yellow squash cut into ½” pieces
- 1 red bell pepper chopped into small ¼” pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt
- coarse black pepper
- 1 sweet onion diced + 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 lb italian chicken sausage (if available) sliced into medallions
- 4½ cups lower sodium chicken broth, simmering
- ¼ cup dry white wine
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 4-6 fresh basil leaves, chopped, for garnish
- Olive oil for drizzle (garnish)
- First preheat your oven to 425. In a large baking sheet lined with foil, add your asparagus, yellow squash and bell pepper. Toss with 1 tbsp of olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper. Place into oven and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until desired texture is reached.
- Cover & set vegetables aside until risotto is ready.
- Next over medium high heat add onions, cook for about 5-7 minutes until translucent, add chicken sausage, saute until cooked through, about 8 minutes.
- Set aside until risotto is ready.
- Next in a heavy bottom pan/pot over medium heat add 1 tbsp live oil to pot, add rice and ¼ cup white wine. Stir immediately for about 30 seconds or until wine is absorbed.
- Next add 1 cup of your simmering chicken broth to risotto and continue to stir (more times than not) until broth is absorbed, this will take about 10-15 minutes. Continue to add ½ cup of simmering broth at a time, continuing to stir for about 10-15 minutes in between until broth is absorbed. Do this until desired texture is reached (creamy al dente) (I usually take about 45 minutes, adding about 4 cups total of broth, you might use a little more and take a little bit longer depending on heat and stirring).
- Once risotto has finished cooking, immediately divide into serving bowls and serve with your roasted vegetables, sausage and garnish with fresh basil & drizzle with olive oil.
** A big special thank you to Uncommon Goods for partnering with me on this post. The feelings are 100 percent my own and am incredibly excited to continue to support such an awesome business.