Asparagus and Pea Risotto
5 T. butter
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 cups arborio rice
5 ½ cups hot chicken stock
1 bay leaf
2 cups diced blanched asparagus
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
3 Tablespoons minced green onions
2 Tablespoons minced parsley
½ cup watercress leaves (optional)
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Mascarpone cheese
1. In a large saucepan, gently sauté the onions in 3 Tablespoons butter until softened but not colored. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute.
2. Add the rice and continue to cook over moderate heat for another 2 min., stirring constantly. Add 1 cup of stock. Season the rice lightly with salt and white pepper. Cook over moderate to low heat, stirring periodically with a wooden spoon until the stock is absorbed.
3. Continue to add the stock in 1 cup increments, adding more when the previous cup of stock is almost completely absorbed by the rice. Stir frequently, but gently as not to break the grains of rice.
4. While the rice is cooking, heat asparagus and rice in remaining 2 Tablespoons of butter.
5. When the rice is al dente, remove from heat and add asparagus and peas. Continue cooking for a couple of minutes to ensure that the vegetables are hot.
6. Stir in green onions, parsley, watercress, Parmesan and Mascarpone. If the risotto is too stiff, add more liquid.
ASPARAGUS SALAD WITH DIJON VINAIGRETTE
Perfect for spring! This recipe will make extra vinaigrette which is perfect for a green salad later.
30 stalks asparagus
¼ cup sherry or red wine vinegar
2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 teaspoons minced chives
½ - ¾ cup extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
3 hard boiled eggs, peeled and chopped
1. Trim tough bottoms off the asparagus and peel the bottom half of the asparagus if tough.
2. Cook the asparagus in well salted boiling water. Cook until tender (approximately 6-8 minutes). Gently remove the stalks from the pot to avoid damaging the tips. Place in a bowl of ice and cold water (known as an ice bath) to stop the cooking. Leave in bowl until chilled. Remove and drain on paper towels.
3. Meanwhile, whisk together vinegar, mustard, tarragon, and chives in a large bowl. Drizzle in oil, very slowly at first, whisking constantly. As the oil is incorporated into the vinaigrette, add it at a faster pace, whisking constantly. Adjust seasoning.
4. Arrange cooked asparagus on plates or a platter. Lightly coat with dressing. Sprinkle with hard boiled eggs.
5. Serve with additional vinaigrette on the side.