|Spring has Sprung|
I am told that the cherry blossoms are blooming in the south Okanagan and the golf courses, of which we have over 70, are open...so as I already mentioned Spring has Sprung in Canada!!!!
Asparagus and peas abound in the markets, but, they are not locally grown...at least not yet. To get myself in the Spring-time mood I whipped up this delicious and creamy risotto. You can serve it to 4 for a nice light meal or 6 as an appetizer. This is my favourite "go to" risotto recipe with it's delicate lemon flavour. It reminds me of avgolomeno the quintessential Greek dish....no wonder it is my favourite!!!
I haven't been eating much at home this week so excuse my lack of posts. I could post about Kraft Dinner...but the masses would revolt...wink...wink...I have been celebrating friends birthdays and cheering friends up and eating wonderful foods out there in the valley. I am a Valley-Girl after all :D
**Spring has Sprung Risotto**
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock or vegetable stock
1 pound asparagus tips
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup Italian mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and sauté for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add rice and stir for a minute to coat with the oil and butter. Add white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the stock, two ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. The whole cooking process will take 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, discard the tough ends of the asparagus and cut the tips diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until tender. Drain and cool immediately in ice water.
3. When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the 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 the heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture, plus the Parmesan cheese. Allow to sit off the heat for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese.