Freshen up the kitchen with a spring veggie dish. This weekend risotto is perfect to kick of the new season.
Marguerite Henderson shares how to whip up this spring veggie risotto.
Risotto Alla Primavera (Springtime Risotto)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 leeks, white part only, thinly sliced
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bunch (1 pound) fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 2” pieces on diagonal
- 1 red bell pepper, cored and finely diced
- 2 carrots, peeled and cut into thin slices on diagonal or cut into thin matchsticks
- 1½ cups Arborio rice
- 5-6 cups warmed chicken or vegetable broth
- 2 cups frozen peas, thawed
- 1 bunch green onions, thinly sliced on diagonal
- 1 cup half and half
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
- ¼ cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
- Garnish: Chopped chives, finely grated lemon zest
In a large shallow saucepan, heat the butter and oil. Sauté the leeks until softened; add garlic, asparagus, red pepper and carrots. Cook for 2 minutes. Remove the contents of saucepan to a bowl with a slotted spoon, leaving the butter and oil in pan. Heat the pan and add the rice; stir for 1 minute to coat with oil and butter. Add 1 cup of broth, stir, and cook over medium heat until liquid is absorbed. Add another cup, stir constantly over medium-low heat until liquid is absorbed. Do this for 5-6 times, making sure the liquid is absorbed before each addition. Taste the rice after about 20 minutes of cooking time. It should be creamy and just about done.
Add the reserved asparagus – red pepper mixture, the peas, green onions, half and half, salt and pepper. Stir until liquid has been absorbed again. Stir in the chives and cheese.
Taste for seasoning. Rice should be creamy, tender and ready to serve. Serve garnished with additional chopped chives and lemon zest. Serves 8 as a first course.