Sunday, February 9, 2014

Spring Risotto

I was in a mood to eat risotto today, and had been thinking of a spring risotto with leeks, asparagus and peas. All GREEN! I got the ingredients, and used the basic risotto recipe to make this delicious dish, fantastic pairing with some full bodied red wine. It turned out delicious, seems like I have mastered the risotto now ;) especially after the new year mushrooms and peas risotto!


  • 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 vegetable stock
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus
    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.

    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 and lemon juice. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.

    When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with chives and more Parmesan cheese.