Spring Risotto with Lemon, Peas, Parmesan & Asparagus

I am loving Spring up here in Mattawa! The whether can’t really make up its mind as to what it wants to do yet–one day I get a sunburn and the next day it pours with rain, but everything’s starting to grow in our small little farm town, and look really pretty. Tonight there were dark grey rain clouds covering the skies with a beautiful golden sunset peering through, so the photographer in me just had to get out and take a couple of pics.

The apple trees that surround our home are just beginning to blossomI am also loving Spring because of all the healthy and delicious seasonal recipes i’m finding! I got the idea for a Spring Risotto from my Martha Stewart cookbook, but decided to change it up a bit by adding lemon and more seasonal vegetables. This is one of the healthiest meals I have blogged…. and yet it’s so rich and creamy that it doesn’t taste healthy at all!

1 pound asparagus spears
2 tsp garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 lemon
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt & pepper

Wash asparagus, trim off rough ends and slice spears at a diagonal.  Set aside.
Zest the lemon.

Pour broth into a sauce pan, heat, and maintain a low simmer.

Finely chop the onion and garlic. Heat 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat in a heavy-bottomed pan. Add garlic/onion and cook until soft, but not browned. Add the Arborio rice and stir to coat. Cook for a few minutes until the rice becomes slightly translucent. Add wine and lemon zest. Stir and cook for a few more minutes until the wine is completely absorbed. Use a ladle to add one cup of warmed broth to the risotto pan. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir and bring mixture to a vigorous simmer. When the rice has almost absorbed all of the liquid, add another 1/2 cup of the broth. Continue to add 1/2 cup of broth at a time and stir rice frequently.
About 10 minutes after you first added the broth, add the asparagus. Continue to stir and add broth as before until the rice is tender with a slight bite in the center.When risotto is just done, add 1/2 of the lemon juice, 1/2 cup grated Parmesan, and 1 tablespoon butter. Stir vigorously to incorporate ingredients, then let it rest for a minute or two. At this point addmore salt and pepper and lemon juice if necessary. Serve with lemon, freshly grated parmesan and chopped parsleyI hope you’re all enjoying this beautiful spring season wherever you are, and that you enjoy this spring time recipe too!
<3 Sarah