Monday, June 14, 2010

Spring Vegetable Risotto


I haven't made risotto in forever! I remember in my late teens, my Dad taught me how to make it & it was a staple for me all through college. After some time, I got a bit burnt out on it. Hence, the reason I haven't made it in ages.
But, after seeing this recipe from Cooks Illustrated & I suddenly felt like making some.
I love leeks & thought they would add a nice sweetness...which, they did. This recipe also uses the vegetable scraps, added to store bought chicken broth, to make a stock....something I've never tried before. I love that idea.
I recommend, when you make it, to substitute whatever fresh vegetables are in season. Right now, these are perfect.

Begin by making the stock.
Take 2 medium leeks & cut them in half {lengthwise}, dividing the dark green parts, from the light green. Slice the dark green parts into large chunks & wash thoroughly {leeks are gritty}. Add them to a medium stockpot. I added a handful of fresh parsley stems, as well...because I had them on hand. I also planned to use some parsley to garnish the dish, so it worked out perfectly.

Snap the ends off 1 pound of asparagus & add them to the pot. Along with 4 cups of chicken broth & 3 cups of water.
Bring the stock to a boil, reduce the heat to a simmer & cook, covered, for 20 minutes. Drain the vegetables out of the stock & discard them. Return the liquid back to the stockpot, cover & return to the heat. Keep it warm, on low heat, while you get the risotto ready.

Cut the trimmed asparagus into 1/2" pieces.

Heat 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter, in a large saucepan, or dutch oven. Add the asparagus & cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes.
Then, stir in a 1/2 cup of peas. Frozen is fine, but I used fresh, as they are available now. Cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2-3 minutes more.

Transfer to a plate & set aside.

Next, some prep work...
Slice the remaining leeks {the light parts} & wash them well. Mince 2 cloves of garlic, grate 3/4 cups of Parmesan cheese,

and measure out 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice.

In the same large saucepan you used to cook the vegetables, melt 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, over medium heat. Add the leeks & garlic. Saute until softened {about 4-5 minutes}.
Stir in the rice & cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in 1 cup of dry white wine & cook until fully absorbed, 2-3 minutes.
Then, add 3 cups of the warm stock. Reduce the heat slightly & simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 10 minutes. Continue this process, adding the stock, a 1/2 cup at a time & simmering until the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is tender.

Remove the pan from the heat & stir in a tablespoon of unsalted butter & the Parmesan. Add the asparagus & peas. Gently fold them in.

Garnish with some chopped parsley & serve immediately.

Spring Vegetable Risotto

Adapted from Cooks Illustrated, May 2008
Serves 6

1 pound asparagus
2 medium leeks {sliced, light & green parts separated}
4 cups low sodium chicken stock
3 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter {divided}
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
3/4 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Chopped fresh parsley, for garnish

Snap the tough ends off the asparagus & place them in a medium stockpot.
Add the chicken stock, the sliced leeks {dark green parts} & water. Bring the stock to a boil, reduce to a simmer & cook, covered, for 20 minutes.
Drain the stock, discard the vegetables & transfer the liquid back to the stockpot. Cover & keep warm over low heat.
Slice the asparagus into 1/2" pieces. Heat 1 tablespoon of the butter, in a large saucepan, or dutch oven. Add the asparagus & cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes. Add the peas & cook until the vegetables are tender, about 2-3 minutes more. Transfer to a plate & set aside.
Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, in the same saucepan, over medium heat & add the leeks {light green parts}, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt & 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Cook, until the leeks are softened, about 4-5 minutes. Stir in the rice & cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the wine & cook until fully absorbed, 2-3 minutes.
Add 3 cups of the warm stock. Reduce the heat & simmer, stirring frequently, until the liquid is absorbed, about 10-12 minutes. Continue this process, adding the stock, a 1/2 cup at a time & simmering until the liquid is absorbed, until the rice is tender.
Remove the pan from the heat & stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter & the Parmesan. Add the asparagus & peas. Gently fold them in. Garnish with some chopped parsley & serve immediately.
Click here for the printable recipe.

9 comments:

Joanne said...

Risotto is one of those dishes that I'm infinitely glad I learned how to make because now I can whip it up with just about anything I have on hand. I love this spring veggie version! Awesome photos. They are seriously captivating.

risotto-dad said...

for a grown-up version, substitute a cup of white wine for the last cup of stock.

Karen said...

Wow, this does look "Springy"! Absolutely delicious stuff in there!

Connie said...

Absolutely lovely with all the green vegetables. Its so hot outside where I am, but I could totally eat this dish now!

Plate and Pour said...

Wow, this looks absolutely delicious! It screams Spring. And your pictures are amazing!

http://plateandpour.blogspot.com/

Anonymous said...

When you say 'discard', you don't mean 'throw away', do you? I almost thought I should toss them and start over with new veggies. Should I?

kate said...

Anonymous~
The stock is made with stems, leek tops & the tough, inedible asparagus ends. So, yes...discard that stuff after the stock is made.
Not the veggies for the risotto itself though!

Anonymous said...

@kate

Oh, now I see. It went well, btw. Thanks :)

Cathleen said...

Holy moly, I can't believe that I have never made risotto before! This looks too good to me true!

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