You can certainly not call risotto a light dish, but when you jazz it up with fresh spring vegetables, mint and lemon this is as fresh as it gets. This primavera risotto is lovely with grilled pork and a simple salad. Plus as far as risotto recipes go it is loaded with fresh vegetables.
For the vegetarian risotto use vegetable stock in place of the chicken stock. I actually finished off a wedge of Parmiggiano Reggiano grating it up for this dish and decided to use the rind by putting it into my simmering stock. Don’t discard the rinds of your hard cheese they can lend a lovely extra creaminess into dishes.
If you are feeling indulgent treat yourself by adding a few tablespoons of whipping cream at the end, I won’t tell.
[print_this]Asparagus, Pea, and Lemon Risotto Recipe
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup finely minced shallot
1 clove minced garlic
1 cup arborio rice
1 cup white wine, room temperature if possible
~ 1L chicken or vegetable stock (give or take)
2/3 cup fresh shelled or frozen peas
2 cups fresh asparagus (1 average bunch size)
salt and pepper
1/4 grated Parmesan cheese
6 large fresh mint leaves, chiffonaded
1/2 lemon, juiced
In a heavy pot melt half the butter over medium heat and add olive oil and shallot. In a separate pot heat the stock to medium. Sweat shallot for about 2 minutes then add garlic for another minute. Add rice and cook, stirring regularly for 2 minutes. Add white wine and stir until the rice has absorbed then start adding stock a few ladlefuls at a time until absorbed. Continue stirring regularly.
This is a great time to prepare your vegetables and grate your cheese. To prepare the asparagus first wash it. Then break off ends and cut into 1/2 pieces.
When risotto is almost done (still a firm bite). Stir in asparagus for 3 minutes then add peas. Keep stirring and adding stock as necessary. Start tasting and adjusting your seasoning. When just al dente stir in mint, cheese, lemon juice, and remaining butter. Taste and correct again. Serve immediately.