I was hoping for a recipe I could use in my Mother's Day meal this month but since I decided to do a brunch thing it didn't quite work out that way. After cooking a big Mother's Day meal I had to make the first recipe of the month the next day so I was at least hoping for quick and easy - I didn't get that wish either.
The recipe was a typical risotto with all the constant stirring that goes with a risotto. I like risottos but it is something that is hard to make while watching a two year old. It is also hard to make anything else for your meal since they require a fair amount of attention. This risotto was probably even more complicated than most since you have to cook a bunch of veggies to start and then you blanch and add the asparagus half way through along with a bunch of other ingredients.
It sounds like I am complaining. This was really good and it is not really hard to make - it just takes time. The flavors were all really good together. I hardly ever make anything with fennel in it but I love the flavor of it. Thanks to Kimberly at Indulge and Enjoy for this pick. She has a lot of good looking vegetarian recipes on her site.
Spring Green Risotto(Source: Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics, page 147)Serves 4 for dinner, 6 for appetizerIngredients
- 1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
- 1 cup chopped fennel
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 pound thin asparagus
- 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
- 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for servingDirections
- Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
- When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add it to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
- Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.