Spring Green Risotto

This Italian rice side dish recipe receives its name from a host of fresh green vegetables including fennel and asparagus.

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  • Makes: 4 servings
  • Yields: 4 dinner or 6 appetizer servings
  • Start to Finish: 55 mins
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Spring Green Risotto
Ingredients
1 1/2
tablespoons good olive oil
1 1/2
tablespoons unsalted butter
3
cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1
cup chopped fennel
1 1/2
cups Arborio rice
2/3
cup dry white wine
4
cups simmering chicken stock, preferably homemade
1
pound thin asparagus
10
ounces frozen peas, defrosted, or 1-1/2 cups shelled fresh peas
1
tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
 
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2
tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/3
cup mascarpone cheese, preferably Italian
1/2
cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
3
tablespoons minced fresh chives, plus extra for serving
Directions
  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the leeks and fennel and saute for 5 to 7 minutes, until tender. Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the oil, butter, and vegetables. Add the white wine and simmer over low heat, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed. Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, cut asparagus diagonally in 1-1/2-inch lengths and discard tough ends. Blanch in boiling salted water for 4 to 5 minutes, until al dente. Drain and cool immediately in ice water. (If using fresh peas, blanch them in the boiling water for a few minutes until the starchiness is gone.)
  3. When risotto has been cooked for 15 minutes, drain the asparagus and add to the risotto with the peas, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until rice is tender but still firm.
  4. Whisk the lemon juice and mascarpone together in a small bowl. When the risotto is done, turn off heat and stir in the mascarpone mixture plus the Parmesan cheese and chives. Set aside off heat for a few minutes, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and serve hot with a sprinkling of chives and more Parmesan cheese. Makes 4 dinner/6 appetizers servings.
Nutrition Facts (Spring Green Risotto)
    Per serving:
  • 670 kcal cal.,
  • 24 g fat
  • (11 g sat. fat,
  • 2 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 10 g monounsatured fat),
  • 51 mg chol.,
  • 735 mg sodium,
  • 88 g carb.,
  • 7 g fiber,
  • 12 g sugar,
  • 25 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet
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