While we were in Cambridge we took a break from the commencement proceedings and had a breezy lunch on a rooftop deck overlooking all the bustle. Molly ordered a Spring Vegetable Risotto that was so good we surrounded it like a pack of hungry jackals. We knew then and there we would have to recreate it at home, so between ravenous bites we tried to decipher the ingredients: pesto, fresh corn, asparagus, tomato, some kind of sharp cheese, something creamy... it was hard because with four forks stabbing at it it was gone in a flash. This is fresher and lighter than most risottos, making it a perfect spring dinner. Here's our rendition:
Spring Vegetable Risotto 1 1/2 cups arborio rice 2 tbsp. olive oil 2 tbsp butter 32 oz chicken stock 3 cups water 1/2 cup dry white wine or dry sherry 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 or 2 shallots, thinly sliced bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces 2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced 2 ears of corn, kernels removed several sprigs of fresh thyme 1/2 cup --3/4 cup pesto 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese salt and pepper to taste pea shoots for garnish
Par cook the asparagus and corn for 3 minutes in the microwave in a covered dish with a splash of water, or blanch in boiling water for a minute or so. Set aside. Heat the stock and water in a pan on the stove or in the microwave. Saute the onion and shallot in the olive oil and butter until translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat, then cook for a minute or two.
Add the wine or sherry and stir until absorbed. Over medium heat, add a large ladle full of stock one at a time to the rice and stir until the liquid is absorbed before adding the next ladle.
You will do this until the rice is tender---if you run out of liquid before the rice is cooked, add more hot water. Toward the end, add in the veggies, tomatoes and thyme and continue cooking. When the rice is tender, (this will take around 30 minutes) add in the pesto, cheese and seasonings. Heat through and serve hot.
Sue/the view from great island