Pesto Prawn Risotto with Sun-dried Tomatoes

So this post is a little controversial. I initially wrote it a couple days ago, when the weather was warm, the sky was sunny, and everyone had hidden their winter jackets. Then, this morning, I woke up to this…
Boo. I mean, it’s to be expected, really. But it just seemed so promising, you know? Early spring in Edmonton is not exactly like one would imagine spring to be. The city streets turn into lakes – not from rain, but from the melting snow. Everything is brown and dirty, and nothing is green or even remotely blooming. I waited in line for literally 45 minutes for a car wash (only for my car to be totally covered in dirt 3 days later, of course).
But beneath all of that, you can feel the optimism. Even though the temperature is barely above zero (on a good day), Edmontonian’s have their car windows rolled down; everyone is barbecuing and people are wearing denim jackets and flats, having hopefully stowed away their Canada Goose jackets and Sorel boots. The river valley is filled with joggers and the farmers markets are packed.
Although I meant for this recipe to feel summery, it’s actually a perfect representation of the weather right now. The dish is warm and comforting, but the flavours remind me of a hot, summer day.
I know that there are probably still some people out there who are afraid of making risotto. It sounds “fancy” and there’s that whole misconception that it takes an entire afternoon of labouring over the stove to perfect. Perhaps those people are lazy/don’t like to cook/are doing something wrong. Risotto does require some attention, yes. But I’ve made it about a dozen times and have never had it go wrong, and it doesn’t take too much longer then most other dinners I make. Plus, the possibilities for different ingredient variations are endless. If you are one of these people, please, try this; you won’t be disappointed.
Pesto Prawn Risotto with Sun-dried Tomatoes
Makes two servings
1/2 small Yellow Onion, finely chopped
1 tbsp Butter
1 cup Arborio Rice
1/4 cup White Wine
4 cups Vegetable Stock
2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese, grated finely
2-3 tbsp Pesto (homemade or store-bought)
12 – 15 large Prawns
1/4 cup Sun-dried Tomatoes
1/4 tsp Salt
1/4 tsp Black Pepper
1. Heat the broth in a saucepan to almost – boiling, then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook to prawns in a
small amount of butter in a frying pan or in the oven, as desired.
2. In a separate saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, until soft and translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, making sure to coat the rice with the melted butter. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed.
5. Add the broth ½ cup at a time, stirring often and waiting until it’s absorbed before adding more. Keep the risotto mixture at medium – low heat. You want it to be bubbling slightly when you are not stirring, but not so hot that it boils (does that make any sense?) It should take about 30 minutes for all of the broth to be absorbed.
6. Remove risotto from heat and stir in the parmesan, pesto, cooked prawns, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Serve hot.

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