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Baked Risotto Primavera

From The Essential Eating Well Cookbook by Patsy Jamieson (The Countryman Press)

Nutty brown rice takes the place of traditional Arborio rice in this updated risotto, which requires no stirring. Asparagus, sugar snap peas, and sweet red bell pepper give added flavor and color.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions chopped (about 1-1/2cups)
1 cup short- or medium-grain brown rice (see Note)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 (14-1/2-ounce) cans reduced-sodium chicken broth or 3-1/2 cups vegetable broth
8 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces (2 cups)
1 cup sugar snap peas or snow peas, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup diced red bell pepper (1 medium)
1-1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese (3-1/2 ounces)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/4 cup chopped fresh chives
1-2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest, preferably organic
Freshly ground pepper to taste

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

Heat olive oil in a Dutch oven or ovenproof deep sauté pan over medium heat. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Stir in brown rice and garlic. Cook, stirring, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in wine and simmer until it has mostly evaporated. Add broth and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and transfer to the oven. Bake until the rice is just tender, 50 minutes to 1 hour. Shortly before the risotto is done, steam asparagus, peas and bell pepper until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Fold the steamed vegetables, Parmesan, parsley, chives, lemon zest and pepper into the risotto. Serve immediately.

Ingredient Note: Use short- or medium-grain brown rice to achieve the characteristic creamy risotto texture.

Makes 6 servings, about 1 cup each