Having been born and raised in Wisconsin (The Dairyland State) pretty much attests to the fact that I am a lover of all things cheese. Throughout the years, I have found ways to incorporate cheese into breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, and most recently into this asiago vegetable risotto!
Typically, I favor semisoft and fresh cheeses like provolone, mozzarella, and farmers cheese more so than the hard, “stinky” cheeses like bleu, stilton, and feta. However, I’m working towards developing my palate so that I can experience all of the wonderful tastes and textures available!
In honor of my favorite fat-laden protein, here is an incredibly easy and delicious recipe for you to try.
This risotto is filled with some pretty danged yummi ingredients, too. Asparagus (my favorite Spring veggie), zucchini (my favorite Summer veggie), and bacon (umm, do you know me at all? If so, there’s no explanation needed here. I have at least 27 recipes on this site that use bacon as an ingredient!) Top this side dish with Asiago cheese and you just created the best danged side dish imaginable!
Asiago Vegetable Risotto
Creamy arborio rice, cooked with fresh garden vegetables and flavorful saffron, then sprinkled with asiago cheese. It's a tasty side dish that will impress your palate!
- 2 ounces (4 Tablespoons) butter, divided
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 24 ounces (3 liquid cups) chicken stock or broth
- Pinch of saffron threads
- 1 medium zucchini, quartered and sliced into thin (1/4 inch) pieces
- 1 cup asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1/2 cup any color sweet bell pepper, cored, seeded, and diced
- 2 scallions, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 ounces (1/4 liquid cup) lemon juice
- 4 ounces (1/4 cup) Asiago Cheese, shredded
- 2 Tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 4-5 slices crisply cooked bacon, crumbled
- In 3-quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir continuously until edges of kernels are translucent; about 3 to 4 minutes.
- Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until absorbed; about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add another 1/2 cup broth, saffron, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, onions and pepper. Cook until all liquid is absorbed; stirring frequently.
- Continue to add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking until liquid is absorbed each time.
- When all liquid has been added and absorbed, stir in lemon juice, Asiago and remaining butter. Mixture should be creamy and rice should be al dente.
- Before serving, stir in basil and bacon
Recipe NotesVery minimally adapted from The Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board
Doesn’t that asiago vegetable risotto look yummi?! I can’t wait to use up some fresh veggies from the garden on this dish VERY soon!