Spring is finally here! Although, it is about 30 degrees outside and I saw a few flakes of snow today. I am SO ready for warm weather, longer days, and the bright, fresh tastes of spring dishes. I am slightly obsessed with risotto. It is rich and creamy, but surprisingly pretty light and healthy. It is great on its own as a full meal or a side dish paired with chicken or fish.
This Asparagus and Lemon Risotto is the perfect bite of spring with its bright lemon flavor and fresh spring veggies.
4 cups chicken or vegetable stock 2 tablespoons butter or good olive oil 1 small onion, finely chopped 1 cup Arborio rice 1/2 cup dry white wine 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch lengths 1 cup fresh peas (or you can use thawed frozen peas) 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice 1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves 1/2 cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
Heat the butter or oil over medium heat in another saucepan. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add rice, cook, stirring, until every grain is coated well (this prevents the risotto from getting sticky) for about 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.
Add 1/2 cup hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue adding 1/2 cup stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 minutes total. Add asparagus with the last addition of stock, and the peas about 1 minute before risotto is done.
Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, and cheese. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.