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Shrimp and Spinach Risotto- Latin Style

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Shrimp and Spinach Risotto A Latin style risotto, you ask? Well, why not?? Risotto is one of our favorite things to eat and I am always trying to make it in new and different ways incorporating new ingredients every time. Risotto is made with Arborio rice which is a thick grained rice. It is white rice and thus processed- the key is to use the best ingredients one can find while making risotto and eat it in moderation. Usually risotto is finished with cream, butter and cheese making it quite heavy. It can be made lighter and healthier by using good olive oil and a moderate amounts of cheese.

This risotto is a bit different from the Italian variety. I decided to use some Latin flavors… so, I marinated the shrimp with some smoked paprika, garlic powder and salt. I then sautéed some shallots and garlic. I added the rice, kidney beans. I cooked the risotto with chicken broth and added fresh baby spinach. The addition of all these yummy ingredients make this risotto quite light and very delicious. The key to making light dishes is to boost the flavor factor- in this case, it is the delicious marinated shrimp.

Try this dish next time you want to have a delicious, healthy and different risotto- try this one..

  • 1 pound shrimp, deveined and tail off
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt

Mix the paprika, garlic powder and salt in a small bowl. Sprinkle generously over the shrimp and let sit for 2 to 3 hours.

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium shallots, sliced thin
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 can kidney beans, rinsed clean
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 to 5 cups chicken broth, heated
  • 4 cups baby spinach
  • Salt

Heat a medium saucepan with the olive oil. Brown the shrimp on high heat on both sides- about a minute each. Take them out and keep aside. Add the shallots and garlic. Saute on medium heat or 2 to 3 minutes. Add the kidney beans and rice. Saute on medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the chicken broth half cup at a time while stirring on medium low heat. Repeat the process till the rice is cooked and most of the broth is used- it should take about 20 minutes. Add the baby spinach and stir and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook for 3 to 4 minutes till the shrimp are cooked through. Check for seasonings and add salt. Serve hot.

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