It is time, once again for Sunday Supper. This week we are having our Spring Fling and celebrating the rebirth that we see (or hope to see) all around us. I am in Michigan and we have some signs of spring here. The birds are out and about and the snow is mostly melted but the ponds are still frozen and nary a bud is yet on the trees or coming up out of the ground yet.
Our hosts this month are DB of Crazy Foodie Stunts and Valerie of Lifestyle Food Artistry. They chose the theme for this month and I am more than ready to start thinking about spring. Warmth, Sunshine, Blue Skies, Fresh Berries, Asparagus, Baby Peas, Crocus, Tulips and Daffodils.
To celebrate I decided to make a Spring Vegetable Risotto for dinner tonight. Risotto does take a little bit of time and attention but the sun is shining through the window, the aromas in the kitchen are making my mouth water and I can think of nothing else I would rather be doing on a laid back Sunday Afternoon.
I found this recipe in Lidia's Family Table by Lidia Matticchio Bastianich. For all you youngsters out there, Lidia is Joe Bastianich's (from Master Chef) Mom. She is more from my generation.
This is a lovely cookbook. It is like being in your grandmother's kitchen with her explaining exactly why you should follow each step in the preparation and what these steps do to make the final recipe a success. I did not include all of this information in the recipe I am sharing with you today but if you have a free Sunday and want to relax while thumbing through a cookbook this is a great choice.
This recipe incorporates tons of spring flavors!
Asparagus, spring onions, leeks and peas combine to make a perfect risotto.
All these beautiful vegetables get sauteed together in olive oil to be incorporated into the risotto as it cooks.
The risotto was creamy, rich and delicious.
A perfect spring meal for weather that has not quite caught up to the season.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
adapted from Lidia's Family Table
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into peas size pieces
1/4 c. olive oil
1 onion, chopped
1 leek, whites and light green parts, rinsed well, halved and thinly sliced
generous pinch of salt
1/4 t. crushed red pepper
1 (12 oz) pkg frozen peas, defrosted
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/3 c. water\
7 c. boiling water, brought to a simmer
1/4 c. olive oil
1 lg. sweet onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
salt and pepper to taste
2 c. Arborio rice
1 c. white wine
2 T. butter, softened
In a large heavy skillet with a lid, heat 1/4 c. olive oil over med high heat. Add the onion and leeks, season with salt and red pepper and cook until softened and fragrant. Add the peas, scallions and aparagus, stir to incorporate. Add 1/3 c. water, cover and cook, stirring occasionally for 30 minutes. You want a thick sauce with vegetables that retain their shape. Remove from heat and set aside.
Have 7 cups of simmering water on low setting on the range in near proximity to where you are making the risotto.
In a large pot (I used an enamled cast iron dutch oven) heat olive oil over med heat. Add onions and garlic. Season with a generous pinch of salt and cook slowly until the onions sweat, soften and turn golden (8-10 minutes) stirring frequently. Ladle 1/2 c. of the simmering water into the onions and continue to cook for another 10 minutes. The onions should be clear and glistening but the water should be all boiled away.
Add the rice, all at once. Raise the heat slightly and stir constantly for about 3 minutes until the rice is coated with oil and becoming translucent around the white center. Add the wine and cook until evaporated, stirring constantly. Ladle 2 c. of the simmering water into the rice and stir continuously until all the water is incorporated. Season the rice with salt and add the reserved vegetables along with another ladle of water and cook until all liquid is absorbed. Continue to cook and stir adding simmering water by ladlefuls until the risotto is at the tenderness desired.
To finish off the risotto, season with pepper, stir in the butter and the cheese and serve with extra cheese for topping. Print Recipe
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