April 22, 2009

I'm back - and with Spring Risotto

When we were down south in GA and SC, visiting both my parents and the in-laws, I really got to feel like Spring was coming. It was warm and sunny and everything was in bloom. I even got an awful golf tan, which I now have to figure out how to fix because we have 2 black tie events in the next week. Eek! Even though it's still pretty chilly and rainy here in NYC, this spring risotto was a nice reminder of what is to come. Given that it is risotto, it is naturally creamy and heavy, but lightened up with the addition of lemon. Personally, I'm not sure how I feel about lemon and pasta. I think it's a fantastic idea for brunch/lunch, but dinner I generally like things on the more savory side. Regardless, this was delicious. Even the leftovers heated up well. And yes, risotto can be a bit finicky, but as long as you watch it and stir it, it will turn up beautifully. Heck, if I can do it, you should all be pros! 

It feels great to be back into the cooking groove, not to mention a little more on track with my personal life. Did any body else realize that they were a total disaster when they started doing their taxes?? I can now proudly say that our office is a model of organization! :) I can't wait to stop by and see what everyone else has been cookin' up these past few weeks!

Spring Risotto
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics - Ina Garten

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 cups chopped leeks
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine
5 cups simmering chicken stock
1 pound asparagus
10 ounces frozen peas, defrosted
zest from 2 lemons
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/3 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup Parmesan, plus some for serving
  • In a medium sauce pan over medium, heat butter and oil.
  • Add leeks and cook for 5 - 7 minutes.
  • Add rice and cook for a few minutes, stirring, to coat in butter and oil.
  • Add white wine and bring heat down to low, to simmer until most of the wine has been absorbed. Stir constantly.
  • Add chicken stock a few ladles at a time. Add more when practically all of the stock has been absorbed (about 30 minutes).
  • Meanwhile, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces, and blanch in boiling water for 4-5 minutes.
  • Immediately drain and place in ice water.
  • When risotto is halfway cooked, add asparagus, peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper.
  • Continue cooking and stirring until rice is tender but still firm.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice and ricotta.
  • When risotto is finished, turn off heat and stir in ricotta mixture and Parmesan.
  • Season with S&P and serve with additional Parmesan.


Foodie with Little Thyme! said...

Glad to have you back blogging. I was starting worry. Didn't your Mama tell you to check in so we will not worry about you. Anyway, glad your back and this risotto looks yummy.

Kerstin said...

What a perfect risotto for spring - I love how packed it is with asparagus and peas! Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

Welcome back! Sounds like you had a great time off! The risotto is delicious and perfect for spring!

Maria said...

I am so glad you are back. I have missed you! I hope you had a fun vacation. I really should turn off my computer more, but I just love it:) The risotto looks wonderful! Perfect for Spring!

Mary said...

It's good to have you back. You picked a lovely recipe to get you back into the swing of things. It looks lovely.

Lavanya said...

Good that you are back again..many weeks...risotto looks delicious.new to me!!

Jaime and Jen DISH said...

The Risotta looks delish...bravo. I love how the green peas glow in the bed of rice.

OH and how can you walk away from a computer??? Turn it off? Never could I do that to Martha my computer. :)


tuki said...

I love your blog! Thankyou!!

DessertObsessed said...

welcome back! and that risotto looks fabulous!

Donna-FFW said...

Glad you are back.. what a fantastic recipe for your welcome back.. Happy you had a great time..

My Carolina Kitchen said...

I'm so glad you are back. I missed you but it's nice to know you had a great time at the Masters. What a fun thing to do.

Your spring risotto looks gorgeous. I love Ina and find that her recipes are delicious and reliable.

Weather here in the NC mountains is weird - 38 this morning and high in the 80's today. That's almost a 50 degree swing in a day.

sugarlens said...

Yay, you are back! Glad you had fun on your vacation! I have been checking your blog and thinking to myself, wow, she's still on vacation? Good for you for taking a computer break!

Your spring risotto looks yum! It's a perfect meal for spring.

Pumpkin said...

I did the same thing when I got home from Utah! I didn't even check my e-mails! It was a nice "electronic vacation".
Hope you had a lovely time in Georgia!
The risotto looks fab- I love making risotto! (And I love peas, so this would be perfect for me!)

Michelle @ Find Your Balance said...

Welcome back! I love your photos and recipe. Haven't made risotto in awhile but when i do i like to roast a whole hand of garlic in the toaster oven and mix in the mushy garlic cloves to the pot. Mmmmmmmm

Sara said...

Welcome back! This looks like the perfect dish to showcase all the great spring produce that's popping up in the markets.

Elra said...

OMG, Seems like forever.... welcome back dear!

Delicious risotto, love the asparagus in there.

noble pig said...

Glad you are back and with a bang! This risotto looks wonderful!

A Feast for the Eyes said...

Ah, risotto! Why do I forget to make this? Yours looks both yummy and very springy!
As for abandoning my laptop... I can't do it. However, I watch far less TV since I discovered my family of fellow food bloggers. This is my therapy, relaxation and inspiration.

BTW, I want to hear all about your sitting through a Rachael Ray TV taping! Details, girl!

Welcome back to the kitchen. You're off to a great start!


Grace said...

welcome back! i'm sure i don't need to mention how jealous i am of your escapades south of the mason-dixon line. :)
meanwhile, great risotto! i'm quickly becoming obsessed with peas and everything they bring to a dish--pop, flavor, texture, and nutrition. :)

Stacey Snacks said...

It's about time I saw a recipe on your site! I was beginning to worry!
The risotto looks lovely!

Chef Fresco said...

Looks good! I hope you guys had an awesome trip!

Juliana said...

Your risotto looks great! Have to try it!

Kevin said...

That risotto looks nice and creamy and good! What a great spring dish!

Sophie said...

Welcome back!!
I did tha same as you last week: no computer for 9 days. It is good to get away , from time to time,...

Lovely spring risotto! Love it!!

Susan from Food Blogga said...

I hope you got to see Tiger up close.

Junglefrog said...

Welcome back! I've been away myself for a very short break to Italy...:) Lovely lovely! Love your spring risotto...!

Leslie said...

Ohhh I love love love risotto. I call it weekend rice since it is a bit time consuming

Erika said...

Your photos are beautiful! Great meeting you the other night. I'll be back to check out more recipes :)