Thursday, April 23, 2009

Spring Risotto

Just when you thought I had finally gotten over my asparagus craze, I go and dump another asparagus-oriented meal at you. Well I'm sorry, but it's spring. I can't help it.

Today I am sharing with you a zesty and hearty risotto. It's a lot like your typical risotto, but with a few interesting twists - most notable of which is the substitution of leeks for what would normally be onions or shallots. Leeks are a seriously under-appreciated flavor source, and I think this recipe showcases just what they can do. The leeks, chives, lemon zest, and parmesan work together to carry the asparagus and let it do its thing. They all join together like a happy little spring time family.

I changed this recipe pretty liberally from the original, but if you want more variety in your veggies you can do what Ina Garten suggested and include peas and fennel, too.

Spring Risotto
adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics
serves 3


2 teaspoons EVOO
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/3 cup white wine
2 cups simmering low-sodium chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
zest of one small lemon
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesan
1 tablespoons minced fresh chives


1. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter melts, toss in the chopped leeks and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leeks are tender, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the rice and cook, stirring, for about a minute, to coat with the oil and butter. Add the white wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until most of the wine is absorbed.

3. Begin adding chicken stock, a ladle at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next. (About 2-3 minutes between ladles). This process will take about 18 minutes or so.

4. When you only have a couple of ladles full of stock left to add, stir in asparagus and lemon zest. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Continue adding broth until none is left. When it is almost completely absorbed, stir in parmesan and chives.

So simple, so comforting, so good. Enjoy!

1 comment:

  1. So good! And for those who desire, some shrimp could be added to turn it into a seafood risotto - or would it spoil the delicate flavors you incorporated?