After a luxurious 3 weeks spent eating anything and everything, it takes awhile to get back to healthier eating habits and patterns that don’t consider frites, butter, dessert or wine to be a requirement for a good meal. Right now, the conversations in our household about meals seem to continuously have the same sentiment: more vegetables.
Thankfully it is spring, and fresh green vegetables are close at hand. As such, I decided to attempt to blend the healthy with the comforting in this spring vegetable risotto recipe. The recipe sweats leeks, shallots and fennel, into a risotto which sees spinach, peas and fresh mint stirred in at the end.
Need a few tips on making a great risotto? Try this risotto tutorial.
Springtime Fennel, Pea, Spinach and Mint Risotto(serves 4)
Place the stock into a medium saucepan and bring to a temperature just below simmering. Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil, 1 tablespoon of the butter and the shallot.
Trim the root end and the dark green part from the leek. Cut in half lengthwise and then slice thinly. Thoroughly wash. Add to the shallot along with a pinch of salt. Thinly slice the fennel and add to the pot. Sweat until just starting to soften, to speed up the process you can cover the pot for a few minutes and let the veggies steam.
Remove the lid and add the rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring regularly. Add in the wine. Bring the wine to a simmer, and stir the mixture until the wine is almost all absorbed. Start adding stock a bit at a time, just enough to cover the rice kernels. Stir regularly, and as the broth is absorbed into the rice continue adding broth to just cover it. Continue stirring and adding broth until the rice starts to soften and is just al dente, and then stop adding broth.
Stir in the raw spinach and the peas, stir until the spinach wilts into the risotto and the peas are hot through. Stir in the remaining butter and the mint. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground pepper. Serve hot.