PEAS.  Haha, how appropriate.  My “maiden” initials were P.E.A. hence the blog name.  This was tasty; next time I would reduce the lemon juice by a tiny bit and increase the parmesan…changes reflected below!
Spring Green Risotto
Recipe found at Food Network

  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
  • 1 cup chopped fennel (I didn’t use.)
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine
  • 4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used canned, and I don’t see why you couldn’t substitute vegetable stock to make this vegetarian?)
  • 1 pound thin asparagus, sliced into 1 1/2″ lengths (discard tough ends by snapping it off the bottom)
  • 10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups fresh peas, shelled
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
  • 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
  • 3 Tbsp. minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel (if using) 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.

Blanch asparagus (and fresh peas if using) 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.  (I waited until the end, because I like “firm” vegetables!)

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.

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