Spring Green Risotto

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Risotto is a blank slate. A very delicious one at that. To it you can add cheeses, spices, seasonal vegetables, or meats all blanketed by velvety smooth rice thickened by chicken stock. It takes a lot of love, I think that’s why I love to make it. You constantly have to be stirring, it’s the closest thing to babysitting that I’m comfortable with.

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I love color in food. That’s why I decided upon this. I have to tell you, this wasn’t my first vegetable choice. This is a spring green risotto that came together by accident. Peas are the only thing that were on purpose. I wanted very badly to use ramps. In the spring and in the cooking world, ramps are all you will hear about. Ramps are king. To get the low down, click here.

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As, I have said in previous posts, I live in New England. Farmer’s market’s haven’t popped up near my town yet. I have about two more weeks until I can even expect it. I knew I wouldn’t see ramps at my local grocery store. I did hope, but sadly I was right. I decided on spinach because I love spinach, and well, it’s green.

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Then I bought asparagus to be my third vegetable. Beautiful stocks of asparagus lined the shelves at the grocery store. The day before I made this I was eating dinner, and I took a bite of asparagus. I immediately jumped from my seat. My mom had used the risotto asparagus. I thought defeat. Just make a post about risotto another week, right? WRONG. I had zucchini in my fridge. I love Zucchini. Zucchini is green.

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The accident turned out great. I find it very calming to stir risotto. I love watching it absorb the wine and broth. I love adding cheese when it’s done to make it extra creamy. I love to eat it. It’s one of my favorite foods. In any season, with any ingredient, it always tastes like it wasn’t an accident.

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Spring Green Risotto

Serves 4

  • 1 medium-large zucchini, cut into 1/2 circles then quartered
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups of chicken broth (or vegetable if you prefer)
  • 1/4 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano, plus a little more for garnish
  • 3 cups packed spinach, washed and dried
  • 1/4 cup peas
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss the zucchini with the olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake for 30-35 minutes.
  2. Heat broth over a low heat until a light simmer, then cover.
  3. Over a medium heat, saute the onion with the butter until translucent. Add the garlic. Stir for another minute until incorporated. Add the rice, stir until becomes translucent. Then, add the white wine.
  4. When the wine is absorbed, add two ladle fulls of the warm broth, always stirring. As the rice keeps absorbing the broth, continue to add two ladle fulls of broth at a time. Continuously stirring, until rice is al dente (25-30 minutes).
  5. Off of the heat, add the cheese. Stir in the spinach until wilted. Add the peas and zucchini. Finally adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well incorporated.
  6. Move to large serving dish and garnish with more Parmigiano Reggiano. Serve immediately.

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