Tonight, we tried Ina Garten's Risotto Primavera. I saw it on one of her shows over the weekend and thought it sounded tasty - and I actually had all the ingredients in the house! Perfect! This was so very good! Definitely a keeper. We've decided we just love risottos. Good thing they're generally gluten free if we do end up finding out Kevin has a gluten sensitivity! :) I didn't make too many changes from Ina's recipe, other than the recipe calls for fennel, which I left out because I don't like it. It helped me clean out some things from the fridge and pantry - leeks, asparagus, mascarpone, parmesan, and chicken stock.
1 1/2 tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts, about 2 leeks (I used 3)
1 cup chopped fennel (left it out)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine (left this out)
4 to 5 cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade (I used about 5 cups of my homemade home-canned chicken stock)
1 pound thin asparagus (I used a little more than a pound)
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1 1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest, 2 lemons (left this out)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper (left this out)
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice (left this out)
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
3 tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving (left this off)
Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel 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.
Meanwhile, cut the asparagus diagonally in 1 1/2-inch lengths and discard the tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. If using fresh peas, blanch them in boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone. (I just threw in my asparagus after about 10 minutes of cooking - I didn't feel like dirtying another pan to blanch it - and it turned out great!)
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.
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.