Wednesday, May 18, 2016

SPRING GREEN RISOTTO recipe from author @DarylWoodGerber

From Daryl aka Avery:

I truly enjoy green vegetables. There's something about them that make me smile. I'm not a big carrot fan. I don't like beets and eggplant. I'll do yellow squash occasionally, but I'm drawn to the green things when I search the vegetable aisle. I wonder what that says about me. Can we tell who we are by what we eat?

Another food I love is risotto. It is a comfort food with a hearty goodness and it's downright sinful, as well. The luscious flavors of onions and butter, and chicken stock sooth my soul.

Whenever I make risotto, I have a bottle of wine at hand. Not to use in the risotto. To sip while cooking because risotto requires that I stand by the stove and stir...and stir...

This particular recipe I discovered in the Food Network Magazine, April 2016 edition. The picture was so enticing, and I have to admit, my pictures turned out okay, too. The addition of lemon zest is terrific. The flavor of fennel is subtle and lovely. The small scoop of mascarpone added at the end gives such a creaminess to the dish.

So enjoy! I love experimenting with recipes from magazines, and this one was a winner.

From Food Network Magazine April 2016

This dish caught my eye. So full of color and yumminess.

Their recipe serves 4. I cut in half to serve 2.

1 ½ tablespoons good olive oil
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 cup chopped fennel (the whole bulb part)
1 ½ cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock (I used boxed Pacific brand)
1 pound thin asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving

Heat olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add the leeks and fennel and sauté 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, a third of a cup at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process takes about 25 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 ½-inch length and discard the tough ends. Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water for 2 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 often until the rice is tender but still firm.

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.

Savor the mystery and say cheese!
Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames
Tasty ~ Zesty ~ Dangerous!

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  1. sounds so good Daryl! I am a big fan of beets though:). I had some arborio rice and had forgotten to buy my regular brown rice, so I used the arborio plain for dinner. Ugh! I guess it must be built to absorb all those good flavors.

    1. Arborio rice takes a LONG time to cook. You have to nurse it with all the juice from the broth. It's fun. I drink wine while I do it. LOL ~ Daryl

  2. For years I avoided making risotto--too much work, I figured. All that stirring! But more recently I've found a sort of satisfaction in making slow dishes that require care and attention. This version sounds luscious. (I've always wondered what to do with fennel--maybe now I'll try it.) BTW, I seem to have five different kinds of rice in my pantry, including red and black. And plenty of arborio.

    1. Sheila, I agree, there is a satisfaction from slow cooking. It feels like dining when you put some "slow" effort into it and don't whip it together (like I normally do). Red and black rice? Wow! You really are a gourmet. ~ Daryl

  3. This does sound lovely. Risotto is so uncious and delicious.
    (I bet this is supposed to say "salt"-
    "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 slat and 1 teaspoon pepper.")

    1. You don't think you're supposed to add a slat of something? Libby, what kind of kitchen operation are you running! LOL Yes, salt. I'll go fix now. Love that you are a particular reader. ~ Daryl