From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I feel almost guilty posting this recipe when so many of you are still buried in snow, but the blooms of daffodils and Thundercloud plum trees have announced the arrival of spring here the the Pacific Northwest and I wanted my kitchen to reflect the change of season. I decided to make this wonderful lemon flavored risotto, prepared with a handful of spring vegetables, to mark the occasion. This is one of my favorite dishes, and when I am home alone I can make a meal of it. When the Silver Fox is home, I'll make lamb chops to round out his plate and keep one of the world's most committed carnivores happy. While risotto is not hard to make, it demands some attention from the cook. The liquid must be added in stages and the rice must be stirred as it cooks, but once you've established a rhythm, those lovely grains will reward you with a delicious and savory treat. It is important to serve the rice just as it has finished cooking. This is not a dish that keeps well and the rice will become gummy if it sits and is allowed to cool. I do hope you'll give this flavorful spring risotto a try. Here is how it's made.
Spring Vegetable Risotto...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
2 (14.5 ounce) cans vegetable broth
1/2 pound asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 cup thawed frozen peas
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1/3 cup finely diced shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1/2 lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 teaspoon salt
1) Bring broth and 1/2 cup water to a simmer in a medium lidded pot. Add asparagus and cook 3 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove asparagus to a colander with a slotted spoon and run under cold water; set aside. Reduce heat to low and cover broth.
2) Heat oil and butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add shallots and cook 2 minutes. Stir in rice and cook 1 minute. Pour in wine and cook until liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of the reserved hot broth and stir; when most of the liquid has been absorbed, add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue until broth is gone and rice is tender, stirring well with each addition, about 20 to 25 minutes total.
3) Stir in lemon zest and juice, Parmesan, salt, frozen peas and reserved vegetables. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.
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