Summer Risotto with Shrimp, Asparagus & Squash

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, shrimp risotto with asparagus and squash, summer risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, cooking light

I absolutely love risotto… its rich, creamy flavor and hearty, filling effect make it more of a winter meal than a summer dish. So naturally I decided to make a lighter version with a lot less cheese and a few fresh summer vegetables to lighten it up. I wanted to incorporate shrimp to add a little more buttery flavor while still keeping everything lean, light, and healthy. Summer cooking is extra fun because its the perfect season for asparagus and squash! These vegetables are so versatile and can take on any flavor you pair them with.

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, shrimp risotto with asparagus and squash, summer risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, cooking light

To give my vegetables a more rich flavor I seasoned them with olive oil and salt and pepper. I put them in the oven for about 20 minutes so they could really absorb the flavors more and have a tender texture. Softening the vegetables a bit by oven roasting them compliments the body of the dish.

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, shrimp risotto with asparagus and squash, summer risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, cooking light

When the squash and asparagus came out of the oven I could hardly resist snitching a few pieces, they were so good! They were tender yet still had a nice crunch. While I was cooking the vegetables and risotto I pulled my marinating shrimp out of the refrigerator to add it to the risotto. I used precooked frozen shrimp since I had a bag handy in the freezer- marinating uncooked shrimp and sautéing them fresh would step this risotto up even more!

caroline culwell, the life eclectic, shrimp risotto with asparagus and squash, summer risotto, shrimp risotto recipe, cooking light

Once my risotto had absorbed all of the white wine and vegetable broth, I mixed in some parmesan cheese and thyme, basil, oregano, parsley, garlic, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. The smell was amazing!!! Then I added the oven roasted asparagus, squash, and marinated shrimp and mixed everything well. This was my first attempt at risotto and I was pretty pleased with the final product! What I loved about making the risotto was that it absorbed whatever liquid you choose to simmer it in. This is where this dish can be made in a healthy or unhealthy way. I used wine first to give it a creamy flavor, which allowed me to avoid using any butter at all. I used low sodium vegetable broth instead of regular chicken broth. This dish has a great light flavor and lots of healthy ingredients which allows for some guilt free indulgence!

Ingredients
~Shrimp Marinade
-1 and 1/2 cups shrimp (I used cooked frozen shrimp)
-2 tsp olive oil
-2 tsp fresh lime juice
-salt & pepper

~Vegetables
-1 and 1/2 cup asparagus (chopped, 1 inch sections)
-1 and 1/2 cup baby squash (sliced)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-salt & pepper

~Risotto
-1 cup arborio rice (uncooked)
-1/2 white onion (chopped)
-1 Tbsp olive oil
-1 cup dry white wine
-4 cups vegetable broth (low sodium)
-4 cloves garlic (minced, about 2 tsp)
-1 Tbsp lemon juice
-1 Tbsp dried parsley
-1 Tbsp fresh thyme
-1 tsp dried basil
-1 tsp dried oregano
-2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
-salt & pepper

Directions
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. place shrimp in bowl and add olive oil, lime juice, salt, and pepper and place in the refrigerator to marinade. In another bowl, add chopped asparagus and squash, then season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss well then spread across a baking sheet in an even layer. In a large frying pan (skillet with high sides), heat 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add 1/2 cup of chopped white onion and sauté. Once oven is preheated, place asparagus and squash on the rack and roast for 20 minutes. Once onion have become tender, add arborio rice and mix well. Begin by adding 1 cup of white wine and stir on medium heat until fully absorbed. I heated my vegetable broth in a separate pot to ensure that it was hot while adding it to the skillet. I added about 1 cup at a time, occasionally stirring until all of the liquid was absorbed. Once the white wine and 4 cups of vegetable broth has been absorbed, add 2 Tbsp of parmesan and stir well. Then add minced garlic and lemon juice and stir well. Mix in all other seasonings, then add shrimp and oven roasted vegetables. While on low heat mix all ingredients well. If you use uncooked shrimp, sauté them in a separate skillet before adding them to the risotto. This recipe serves up to 4 people! Enjoy!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin