Minty Green Risotto

Green vegetables in the fridge being continually ignored is unforgivable! I'm bad, I know.  I keep on procrastinating the day I will tackle the greens.  Doesn't anyone have THE lazy days like I do? My vegetable compartment was brimming with healthy ingredients and being lazy as I am, I sometimes hope (Did I just say hope?) that they are not there.  Instead I was hoping that there are some cooked food waiting for me to just reheat.  But I am never that lucky. 

So before I regret not cooking the vegetables at all, I took them all out of the compartment.  I happened to notice that they are all green (This proves that I am a great observer.) and when I looked out the window, I also noticed my mint plants blooming with beautiful GREEN leaves.  Out I went with my little lady toddler to gather some mint leaves.  In the process, I taught her to associate the scent with its name.  She said, "Enk".  Most of the words she says all sound the same to me.  I tried "menta".  "Enkh".  It still sounds the same to me. 

I already did a pasta sauce with this combination before and I remembered that we loved it. The mint delicately dominated the different flavours of the dish and it tasted so summery.  I also took out my small bottle of crushed pistachios from Bronte, Sicily, a small town that produces the best pistachios in the country. It's like playing the game "touch the color - green".  It was my favorite game when I was a kid.  I could also touch the Matcha green tea canister but the recipe was already becoming a hodgepodge of tastes. 

One of the things I learned in cooking the Italian way and immediately adapted is to put less ingredients as possible. You lose track of the taste you are attaining if you put too many things together.  I remember watching a cooking show from another country about grilling meat when the cook put together not less than 30 ingredients together. I was astonished to see the amount of things he has dumping in his marinade.  What was he doing?  I changed the channel immediately. 

Minty Green Risotto

Serves 4
  • 250 grams Arborio rice (or any rice good for risotto)
  • 500 grams zucchini, minced
  • 300 grams asparagus, minced (tips left intact)
  • 1/2 cup mint leaves, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 2 tablespoons pistachios, crushed
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 liter hot vegetable broth
  • salt & pepper
  • knob of butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
  1. Boil a pot of vegetable broth.
  2. In another pot, sautè the onion in extra virgin olive oil.  After 3 minutes, add the zucchine, minced asparagus and the tips.  Cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Add the rice.  Toast for 5 minutes.
  4. With a higher flame, add the wine.  When the alcohol evaporates, turn down the flame again. 
  5. Ladle the broth to the risotto little by little, making sure the risotto doesn't dry up.  Stir frequently so that the rice will not stick to the pot.   Add pistachios.   Season with salt & pepper. 
  6. Turn off the fire when the rice becomes al dente.   Add a knob of butter & parmigiano reggiano.  Drizzle with extra virgin olive.