Spring Green Vegetable Risotto

A celebration of spring, with young herbs, leeks, spinach and anything you find at the market or in your garden, including fava beans. Using Kenny’s Farmhouse asiago for the cheese is a good choice.
March 01, 2010

Ingredients

Herb and greens pesto
  • 1/3 cup (packed) seasonings: sliced young leeks, garlic scapes, arugula, pea shoots, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs: chives, fennel fronds, mint, tarragon, thyme (any one or combination)
  • 1½ cups (packed) spinach, Swiss chard or beet greens
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 to ½ cup olive oil
Risotto
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced scallions (about 3) or chopped onion
  • 2½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mixed fresh spring vegetables — fresh shelled peas, broccoli florets, fava beans, asparagus and/or green beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. For pesto: Put greens , herbs and salt in blender or food processor. With machine running, add oil slowly, using just enough oil to process the mixture into a rough paste. Set aside.
  2. For the risotto: In a heavy, large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  3. Add scallions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add rice, stir to coat and cook another 2 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  4. Pour the wine into the pot and stir until absorbed. Add 1 cup stock and ½ teaspoon salt, stirring constantly until stock is absorbed. Add another cup stock and stir into rice. When stock is mostly absorbed, add the vegetables. Add another cup of stock and stir constantly until it is absorbed. Continue adding remainder of stock in this manner. The whole process from first cup of stock until the last should take about 20 minutes. The rice will be creamy but still firm to the bite.
  5. Remove pot from the heat and stir in the pesto. Add the butter pieces and stir until they are all melted. Stir in ½ cup cheese, salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topped with remaining cheese.

Preparing vegetables: Fava beans also need to be blanched and have their skins removed before starting.

Serves 8.

Ingredients

Herb and greens pesto
  • 1/3 cup (packed) seasonings: sliced young leeks, garlic scapes, arugula, pea shoots, etc.
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs: chives, fennel fronds, mint, tarragon, thyme (any one or combination)
  • 1½ cups (packed) spinach, Swiss chard or beet greens
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 to ½ cup olive oil
Risotto
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup minced scallions (about 3) or chopped onion
  • 2½ cups arborio rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 6 cups hot vegetable or chicken stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mixed fresh spring vegetables — fresh shelled peas, broccoli florets, fava beans, asparagus and/or green beans
  • 2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
  • 1 cup fresh grated Parmesan cheese
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