Spring Green Risotto

My new obsession is a cookbook. It's not a new cookbook that has just hit shelves, but it is fairly new to me and I am in love. It is Ina Garten's "Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics: Fabulous Flavor from Simple Ingredients". I have yet to make a recipe from this book and be disappointed with the outcome. Her risotto is no exception. The title says it all. This cookbook produces the most wonderful, distinct flavors from everyday ingredients. And now that spring has finally arrived, why not celebrate the season with this! You will love this spring risotto, I promise.

ps: I know this looks like a long process but this can be made in about 30 minutes!

You Will Need:
  • 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 chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 1 pound thin asparagus
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
  • 1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Here We Go:
  • 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
  • Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm
  • Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl
  • When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives
  • Set aside, off the heat, for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese

Serves 4 as main course or 6 as side
Happy Feasting!


Angie's Recipes said...

Your risotto looks simply fantastic! Simply gourmet!

Kate said...

Thanks Angie! It is sooo good! and very fresh tasting!

Eizel said...

I too have the same book and just acquired her new one: How Easy is That?

I'm sure seeing this dish will make her proud!

Kate said...

Hi Eizel, Thanks for the note! I just got her new one too and cannot wait to start making recipes from that!

Mary Frances said...

I love this cookbook too! If you haven't tried the granola bars from the breakfast section, you must. They are super easy (and delicious) and are a great alternative to giving cookies/brownies/other sweets as a gift.

Elisabeth said...

Hi Kate-Your risotto certainly spells "spring"...bursting with delicate colors, and creamy risotto that is done to perfection. Yumm!
Love it!
Thanks for sharing:D

Kate said...

Hi MF, I have not tried Ina's granola bars but I am defnitely going to get on it - I am sure they are awesome! You are looking great by the way - final countdown is almost here!

Kate said...

Elisabeth! Thanks so much! After making this risotto it definitely left me in the spring spirit, knowing that warm weather is on its way!

SlipperCityCakes said...

Mmmm risotto... I love how creamy and delicious yours looks! - Elyse