Last week when Lynne was in town my friend Lauren had the two of us ladies over for dinner. It was great to all be together again, and we had fun making dinner together just like the old days BEFORE lynney left. Lauren was browsing through her mom’s magazines (or so she says) when she came across this great recipe in Better Homes & Garden for Spring Green Risotto. It was a great recipe to welcome spring with, and it wasn’t too difficult to put together either!
Lauren remembered that I love making risotto and have lots of tips, so the three of us made this together. In case I haven’t mentioned it before, my mom was born and raised in Italy and didn’t move to the states until the late 70s… she passed her northern Italian cooking gene to me. I am a good risotto maker. I might not be able to make bread from scratch or handle bringing home eggs without breaking at least one (just wait for tomorrow’s post), but risotto? I can handle that. Have I ever told you my mom had blonde hair and light eyes? Strangers rarely believed I was her daughter because of my skin and hair and dark eye color…. until they saw that I was exactly a darker version of her! Anyway….. tangent over. back to risotto.
Make this recipe. That’s all I can really say about it. It wasn’t overly heavy, it had so many complex flavors yet tasted so fresh from the lemon zest. And it had a great combo of veggies to rice. And it just screammmms spring! The only thing missing was a nice glass of crisp white wine, and a spring breeze.
I have never more in my life wanted to ask to take food home from a friend’s house (which I don’t think I’ve ever done?), but after that dinner I really wanted to take some home! Oh, and I may or may not have eaten a nice second helping. This recipe made a huge pot, definitely 8 servings if you have a salad alongside it.
*Please keep in mind that both of these pictures were taken on my iPhone.. and they still look that good. Imagine if I had used a real camera?!?!?
recipe from bhg.com (copied and pasted):
Spring Green Risotto
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. good olive oil
- 1-1/2 Tbsp. 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 chicken stock, preferably homemade
- 1 lb. thin asparagus
- 10 oz. frozen peas, defrosted, or 1-1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
- 1 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
1. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the oil, butter, and vegetables. 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.
2. Meanwhile, cut asparagus diagonally in 1-1/2-inch lengths and discard tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in the boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
3. When risotto has been cooked for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until rice is tender but still firm.
4. Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside off heat for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 dinner/6 appetizers servings.
Nutrition Facts, for 4 servings.
- Calories 670,
- Total Fat (g) 24,
- Saturated Fat (g) 11,
- Monounsaturated Fat (g) 10,
- Polyunsaturated Fat (g) 2,
- Cholesterol (mg) 51,
- Sodium (mg) 735,
- Carbohydrate (g) 88,
- Total Sugar (g) 12,
- Fiber (g) 7,
- Protein (g) 25,
- Vitamin C (DV%) 57,
- Calcium (DV%) 21,
- Iron (DV%) 38,
- Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
-my favorite book to read at random times (food related)