Spring Green Risotto
Why is it when flipping through cookbooks there are certain recipes that just get overlooked for one reason or another? This was definitely the case for this recipe and I’m not sure why. I have flipped through Ina’s Back To Basics book countless times and I can’t say this recipe ever really stood out to me. Maybe because there are so many other wonderful recipes waiting to be tried? Whatever the reason, I’m glad this one finally caught my eye. I knew that this would be a definite winner in my book, but I wasn’t sure about my meat-loving husband. I was pleasantly surprised when he couldn’t stop raving about this risotto and immediately asked if he could take the leftovers for lunch the next day. This will be making more appearances in our home!
On another note, this was my first time cooking risotto with homemade chicken stock. I have been making a lot of it lately and have stockpiles in the freezer (recipe to come soon!). I really think it made a more flavorful risotto (and it saves money too!).
Spring Green Risotto
5 cups chicken broth or stock
1½ tbsp. olive oil
1½ tbsp. unsalted butter
1 small onion or two shallots, minced
3 cups chopped leeks, white and green parts (about 2 leeks)
1½ cups Arborio rice (medium grain rice)
2/3 cup dry white wine
1 lb. asparagus (thin spears preferable), cut into 1-inch pieces and tough ends discarded
10 oz. frozen peas (or 1½ cups shelled fresh peas)
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)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tbsp. minced fresh chives
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.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large sauté pan over medium heat until the butter is melted. Add the onions or shallots and leeks to the pan and sauté for 5-7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice to the pan and stir to coat well with the oil and butter, cooking for about 1 minute. Add the white wine and simmer over medium-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.
Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 4-5 minutes, until crisp-tender. Drain and rinse immediately with cold water to stop cooking. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes as well.)
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, add the asparagus and peas to the risotto. Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm. The entire process should take about 25-30 minutes.
When the risotto is done, remove the pan from the heat. Mix in the lemon juice, mascarpone, Parmesan and chives. Stir until the cheeses are melted in and the risotto is creamy. Serve immediately with additional Parmesan, if desired.
Source: Ina Garten: Back to Basics