Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Spring Dinner: Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

Apologies for my spotty posting lately, dear readers. We’ve been having spectacular weather and I’ve been working more on my tan than on my blog. Warm weather has a tendency to make me feel a bit lazy, more interested in lying in a hammock with a good book than anything else. I am deeply inspired by food though, and the compulsion to share that inspiration is the foundation of this blog.

Fresh pea soup was the first course of my spring-themed Easter dinner. This was followed by asparagus and lemon risotto. Asparagus is a classic spring food; grilled, roasted, or just lightly steamed, this vegetable makes you feel light and fresh. And the bounty of fruit on my lemon tree is a testament to its vernal influence.

Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1 cup white wine
4 cups vegetable stock
1 bunch asparagus, steamed and sliced into 2” pieces
1 tablespoon lemon juice
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the rice. Stir to coat in oil, and cook until each grain is translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the wine and stir until almost completely absorbed. Add the vegetable stock in half cup-fuls, keeping the rice from becoming dry. Continue adding liquid, stirring constantly to keep the rice from sticking. Cook until the rice is tender and creamy, about 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and zest. Taste for salt and pepper. Stir the asparagus into the risotto, and stir immediately.

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