Spring has sprung–and boy do I have a plateful of deliciousness that screams of spring flavors.
Creamy, cheesy risotto with leeks, peas and asparagus. The whole plate is then showered with parmesan and bright lemon zest.
You could really throw whatever fresh veggies that your local market or farmers’ stands may have available. Zucchinis, mushrooms, chard and spinach would be rad options. As for cooking liquids, I opted to use some white wine and chicken stock in the risotto but if you want to go with a purely vegetarian route, a well flavored vegetable stock would also work well.
Have a delectable weekend, Folks!
Serves approximately 4
4 cups chicken stock
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup chopped leeks, thoroughly washed and dried
1 tablespoon minced garlic
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup dry white wine
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese, more to garnish
1 cup peas
1 cup blanched asparagus tips
fresh lemon zest
Heat the chicken stock in a medum saucepan and keep warm over low heat.
Heat the olive oil and butter in a pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté until softened and translucent, about 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, red pepper flakes, thyme leaves, rice and stir quickly until the rice is well coated and opaque—about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook until the liquid is nearly all evaporated.
Ladle in 1 cup of the chicken broth into the rice. Simmer and slowly stir until the rice has absorbed the liquid. Add the remaining broth, 1 cup at a time. Continue to simmer and stir, allowing the rice to absorb each addition of broth before adding more. The risotto should be slightly firm and creamy–approximately 25 minutes in total.
Stir in Parmesan cheese until the cheese has melted. Gently fold in the peas and asparagus tips. Check for seasonings and adjust with the kosher salt and pepper.
Spoon the risotto into dishes. Grate additional parmesan cheese on top and sprinkle fresh lemon zest over each dish. Serve immediately.