Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Yellow & Mellow: a spring risotto

Little darlin, it's been a long cold lonely winter. Little darlin, it feels like years since you've been here.

Here comes the sun.

Here comes the sun.

And I say, it's alright.

The downpour of the last four days has finally stopped and the sun has never looked better. I was really missing it after several days of gray and dreary. But even through the rain yesterday, I noticed CSA members were all smiles and downright giddy about getting the first box of the season. I even bumped into a dear friend from a job I had long ago - how funny that we would be at the pick up spot at the same time! I'm sure we'll share a few CSA inspired meals now that we found each other again!

Last night after organizing & separating the goodies from the box, I pulled out the green garlic and asparagus for dinner. Green garlic, also known as baby spring garlic are the fresh shoots of an immature garlic plant. They look almost exactly like scallions, but a quick whiff will prove otherwise. While it's certainly milder, there's no doubt it's garlic. I only used the white and pale green parts for the risotto.

Leek and Green Garlic Risotto
Adapted from "Local Flavors" by Deborah Madison

Green Garlic and Leeks:

4 medium leeks, white parts only
3 large heads green garlic
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup white wine
salt and pepper to taste

6 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1/2 cup chopped chervil or parsley, and/or leftover green garlic tops
Zest of 1 lemon, finely chopped
salt and pepper to taste

Quarter leeks lengthwise, cut them crosswise into 1/4-inch slices, and wash well. Remove any tough papery husks from garlic, then finely chop bulbs.

Melt butter in a sauté pan. Add leeks and garlic, stir to coat, then add wine and cook over medium-low heat until leeks are tender, about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and set aside while you cook the rice.

Have stock simmering on the stove. Melt butter in a wide soup pot over medium heat. Add rice and cook, stirring for 1 minute.

Pour in wine and simmer until it is absorbed, then add 2 cups of the stock. Simmer until it has been absorbed, then raise heat to medium and begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time. Stir energetically and continue adding liquid after each addition is absorbed. Rice is done when tender with a slight bite, about 35 minutes. Stir in leeks, cheese and herbs.

  • I didn't have any leeks last night, so I used three small shallots in it's place. I thought it added a lovely sweetness to the dish. However, cutting shallots always makes me cry! No matter what I do...
  • You know, I usually make risotto on the weekends because of the time factor. But the truth is, once you get the hang of it, it's not so hard to make. You definitely need to commit to standing in one place for 30 minutes. That's for sure. But it's worth the stirring effort. At least I think so.
  • Don't skip the zest!
  • I steamed the asparagus - which was absolutely beautiful- sliced it, and added it at the very end.

1 comment:

Sharon said...

Yum! Not too much butter for a risotto either. I'm bookmarking this one!