Lemon Risotto with Spring Vegetables
- 1 pound(s) uncooked asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp table salt
- 5 1/2 cup(s) reduced-sodium chicken broth
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 medium uncooked leek(s), cleaned and chopped
- 3 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
- 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
- 1 1/2 cup(s) uncooked white rice, Arborio variety
- 1/3 cup(s) white wine
- 1 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
- 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 tsp lemon zest, grated
- 1/2 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, fresh
- 1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and salt, and cook just until bright green, 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the asparagus in a colander under cold running water to stop cooking; set aside.
- Bring the broth to a gentle simmer in a large saucepan over medium-low heat; reduce the heat and keep at a simmer.
- Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Sauté the leeks, garlic, and thyme until the leeks begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the outer shell is translucent, about 1 minute. Stir in the wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed. Add the broth 1 cup at a time, stirring until it is absorbed before adding more, until the rice is just tender but still slightly toothy. Add the asparagus, peas, lemon juice, and lemon zest with the last (1/2-cup) addition of broth. The cooking time from the first addition of broth should be about 22 minutes. Stir in the cheese and pepper; serve immediately. Yields 1 cup per serving.
To clean the leeks, trim the roots, leaving the root ends intact to hold the layers together. Slice them lengthwise, fan open the layers, and swish them in a large bowl of cool water. Let stand a few minutes to allow the grit to fall to the bottom, then lift them out. For an alcohol-free risotto, substitute nonalcoholic dry white wine and a tablespoon of white vinegar for the wine, or omit it altogether and increase the chicken broth to 6 cups. For the creamiest, most luscious texture, be sure to use Arborio or another Italian medium-grain rice with a high starch content, such as Carnaroli or Vialone Nano. They’re available in better supermarkets and gourmet stores.