Chris is the risotto maker in the family. I think it's because he's so patient, something for which I, and I'm sure his students, are grateful. All that stirring makes me want to turn the heat on high, and that's not what risotto is about, so I let him handle it. Luckily, he's happy to do so. He has wowed plenty of people with his various risotto concoctions, and last night, he did it again with what we're calling "Springtime Risotto." Having bought a pound of fresh spring peas at Apple Tree (a produce-centric market in Hartford), as well as some carrots and green onions, we decided that fresh spring vegetables would be the focus of the dish. That, and plenty of freshly grated parmegiano-reggiano, of course.
Here's the recipe, enough for two with some leftovers:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 medium onion, chopped finely
1 cup arborio rice
2 cups low-sodium broth (chicken or vegetable works best)
1 pound of fresh spring peas (about a cup after shelling)
1 carrot, chopped finely
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, plus some for the table
salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and saute the chopped onions until they become translucent. Add the rice and continue cooking over medium heat, stirring constantly, so that the rice is coated with the butter, mixed well with the onions, and starts to turn translucent as well (about four minutes). Add the broth 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding broth as the liquid in the rice evaporates. After the first cup of broth is gone, add the vegetables. Continue to add the remainder of the broth, 1/3 cup at a time, stirring constantly until all the broth is gone and the rice is cooked through. Turn of the heat, then stir in salt and pepper, and the parsley and cheese. Serve hot and enjoy. Would be nice with a glass of chilled pinot grigio!