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Monday, May 3, 2010

Spring Green Risotto

This is the same risotto that Paige made for our last girl's dinner, when I made this panzanella salad. With so many meals on my "to make" list, I typically shy away from having the same thing again. Obviously that wasn't the case with this risotto; I couldn't even wait a few weeks! This was my first time actually making risotto, normally I only eat it in restaurants. While laborious, it's well worth the effort...especially this particular recipe! I can't get over how tasty this is; the vegetables included in this pair nicely with the plump arborio rice and rich flavor from the cheeses. I've already returned to the grocery store to stock up on more arborio rice from the bulk foods section...expect to see another risotto recipe soon!

Spring Green Risotto
as seen on Annie's Eats, originally from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics by Ina Garten

-5 cups chicken broth or stock
-1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
-1 1/2 tbsp unsalted butter
-2 shallots, minced
-3 cups chopped leeks, white & green parts (about 2 leeks)
-1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
-2/3 cup dry white wine
-1 lb. asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces and tough ends discarded
-10 oz. frozen peas, thawed
-1 tbsp freshly grated lemon zest
-2 tsp kosher salt
-1 tsp pepper
-2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
-1/3 cup mascarpone cheese (or cream cheese)
-1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
-3 tbsp minced fresh chives

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth or stock over medium heat until simmering. Reduce the heat to medium-low, keeping the stock warm.
2. heat the olive oil & butter in a large saute pan over medium heat until the butter has melted. Add the shallots & leeks to the pan and saute for 5-7 minutes, until tender.
3. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat with the oil and butter, cooking for about 1 minute.
4. Add the white wine and simmer over medium heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.
5. Add the chicken broth, 2 ladles at a time, stirring constantly and waiting for it to be absorbed before adding more.
6. Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain & rinse immediately with cold water to stop cooking.
7. When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the asparagus and peas. Stir in the lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly until the rice is tender but still firm (25-30 minutes total).
8. When the risotto is done, remove from heat. Mix in the lemon juice, cheeses, and chives. Stir until the cheeses are melted in. Serve immediately.