Pesto Walnut Risotto

Last Saturday I was looking for a risotto recipe that used only what I had on hand.  Lucky me, because I happened to have everything for this fragrant spring-y dish, which we enjoyed with lamb and a mixed-green salad.

The success of your risotto depends on the quality of your chicken stock, so if you don't have the time to make your own, use the best you can find.  I used a carton of organic, free-range chicken broth from Trader Joe's.  It was worth it.

Pesto Walnut Risotto
From The New Basics Cookbook by Julee Rosso and Sheila Lukins
Serves 6

1 1/2 Tblsp olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
1 cup Arborio rice
4 cups organic chicken stock (check for gluten)
3 Tblsp basil pesto
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/2 cup chopped walnuts
ground white pepper

Heat the oil in a heavy skillet and fry the onion until yellow and soft.  Add the rice and cook another 3 minutes.

Pour the stock into a saucepan and bring to a simmer over low heat.

Slowly add 1 cup of the stock to the rice, stirring.  Stirring occasionally, add stock a 1/2 cup at a time when the liquid surrounding the rice has been absorbed.  Continue until almost all the stock has been added.

Add the pesto and add the rest of the stock.  Continue cooking until the rice is creamy and just tender (about 30 minutes of cooking time in total.)  Stir in the Parmesan and walnuts.  Season with salt and pepper.  Serve hot.