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Recipes Revealed: Zenari's risotto

By Tina Faiz

Adriano Zenari (right) and his family run one of the lunch hotspots in Edmonton (Photos: Tina Faiz)

Zenari's: Spinach Risotto

One 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach
5 cups  chicken broth ( 3 cups for cooking rice and 2 cups for spinach mixture)
2 cup    whipping cream
1 cup    finely chopped onion
1 clove  garlic
2 tbsp   olive oil
1 cup    Arborio rice
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Quick risotto

Bring broth and rice to boil and let simmer for 10 minutes. Drain water and reserve. (This can be done ahead of time and refrigerated)

Cook spinach according to package instructions and drain well. Cool spinach completely and squeeze dry.

In a large saucepan, cook onion and garlic in oil over moderately low heat, stirring, until softened. Add spinach and continue cooking until ingredients are blended.

De-glaze onion and spinach mixture with chicken stock and add whipping cream until blended. Simmer until mixture thickens. (The spinach mixture can also be made ahead of time and refrigerated until assembly)

Now you can have creamy, perfectly cooked risotto every time with Zenari's quick-cook method. (Photo: Tina Faiz)

Directions: Spinach and risotto assembly

In a large saucepan combine butter and par boiled rice until each grain is well coated.

Add in spinach mixture and continue to simmer, stirring constantly, until liquid is absorbed.

Continue adding reserved rice broth, 1/2 a cup at a time, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next.

Reduce heat to moderate if necessary to keep risotto at a strong simmer. Continue adding broth in the same manner until rice is tender and creamy looking but still al dente, about 7 minutes.

Stir in Parmesan cheese just before serving.

You can garnish with a little extra Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley, if desired.

780-423-5409 - 10180-101 Street - Manulife Place
Open Monday - Wednesday 7 a.m.-6:30 p.m., Thursday 7 a.m.-9:30 p.m., Friday 7 a.m.-8 p.m., Saturday 8 a.m.- 6 p.m., closed Sunday.