Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Spring Pea and Herb Risotto

Risotto has always been one of my favorite sides.  Most people look at the ingredient list or see how long the process takes and shy away from the recipe.  Most risottos contain few ingredients.  While it normally takes anywhere between 20-30 minutes to complete, it really doesn't take that long while you are cooking the remainder of your meal.  Just remember to get the risotto going first.

5 ¾     cups chicken stock
2          tablespoons olive oil
1          small onion, finely chopped (about 1/3 cup)
1          cup Arborio rice
½        cup dry white wine
½        cup shelled fresh peas (from about 8 ounces fresh pea pods)
¾        cup grated parmesan cheese; plus more for sprinkling
¼        cup flat-leaf parsley; chopped
2          tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1          tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
1          teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
2          teaspoons fresh lemon juice
½        tablespoon butter
            Freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.  Bring stock to a boil in a medium saucepan.  Remove from heat.

2.  Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Add onion, and cook until translucent, 5 to 6 minutes.  Add rice, and stir to coat with oil. Add wine, and cook, stirring frequently, until wine has been completely absorbed, about 2 minutes.

3.  Add ½ cup of the hot stock, and cook, stirring constantly, until the stock has been completely absorbed and wooden spoon drawn through rice leaves a trail.  Continue stirring and adding stock, ½ cup at a time, waiting for each addition to be absorbed before adding the next, until you’ve added all but ¼ cup of the stock.  Rice will be just cooked through and still slightly firm in center.  It should take 20 to 25 minutes.

4.  Stir in the peas, and cook until they are warmed through and risotto is creamy, about 5 minutes.

5.  Remove from heat.  Stir in cheese, parsley, dill, oregano, lemon zest and juice, butter, and remaining ¼ cup stock.  Season with pepper.  Sprinkle with cheese, and garnish with dill sprigs.

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