Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Spring in December: Asparagus and Pea Risotto

Well here I am back from a brief holiday hiatus. Adam and I had a wonderful holiday, spent a lot of time with family and friends and have in general been getting the apartment in shape for the new year (otherwise known as, I have been developing a severe mercury glass addiction). I hope Santa was good to all of you and you're enjoying/enjoyed any time off you may have!

Some of my favorite gifts I received this year were an array of cookbooks. I have been poring over them the past few days, picking out what to try out this, my week off (woo!) and decided that for Monday, a day which I personally find still kind of dreary even if you have the day off, I decided I wanted something cheerful and spring-y. This time of year I get tired of stews and roasts and other delicious but heavy winter fare. And lucky me I found some gorgeous asparagus at the supermarket the other day so Asparagus and Pea Risotto seemed like an excellent idea.

Asparagus and Pea Risotto
(from Weight Watchers All-Time Favorites)
1 (1 lb) bunch of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces
1 teaspoon salt
3 (14 oz) cans of reduced sodium vegetable broth
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 leeks (white and pale green parts only) cleaned and chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1.5 cups Arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen baby peas
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
pepper to taste.

Bring a large pan of water to boil. Salt and add asparagus.

Boil for 3 minutes and immediately drain and throw into a bowl with cold water to keep the asparagus from cooking any longer. Drain and set aside.

Bring the veggie broth to a simmer on the stove and while that's going on, chop up your leeks and garlic. A word about leeks. The word is FILTHY. Seriously these things always seem to be coated in dirt and sand. So once you chop off the ends, slice them in half length wise and swish them around in a bowl of water to get all that sediment out. Then towel dry and chop like normal.

And don't forget to zest that lemon. Zest it up!

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add chopped leeks and garlic and cook for 3 minutes/until softened.

Add rice and cook, stirring until coated with oil. Add the wine and cook,while stirring, until absorbed.

Then comes the fun part, add the heated broth, a half cup or so at a time and stirring each time until absorbed. This part should take about 30 minutes but, as most things that take a while and some effort, is totally worth it.

With the last batch of broth, add the rest of the ingredients and stir for a few minutes.

Serve, and enjoy! A little taste of spring in a bowl.

A serving size is 1 cup and you should get about 8 servings from this. And at 241 calories a pop you can feel good about being a little decadent.


kate.d. said...

i loooove asparagus, but have never been brave enough to try cooking it myself. seems like such a finicky vegetable!

this looks delicious....

Sarah said...

It IS kind of finicky but it's also delicious. A fail safe recipe is to toss them with some oil, salt and pepper and throw them on the grill for 5-7 minutes. That's my favorite way to eat them!

Lys said...

Now this is a great springtime dish - perfect to brighten a winter's day!!!

WanderingGirl said...

I made it tonight... delicious!