spring risotto


What a crazy week it’s been in Seattle.  We have literally had a wide variety of weather: rain, wind, sun, clouds, cold temps, lightening, thunder, hail and snow!  No wonder I can’t shake this cold.  Oh well, I am committed to thinking ‘spring!’  So off to the Pike Place Market I went in search of fresh peas and morels.  I don’t usually buy fresh peas unless they are locally grown.  I’ve been disappointed with lack of sweetness too many times.  So if you can’t find locally grown peas, frozen will work just fine.  Since they are usually processed right away, they are often sweeter than what you can get at a large chain grocery store.  I’m not gonna lie – morels are spendy. But have no fear. You don’t need many for this recipe!  Made this last night for dinner – so yummy.  And since it’s Lent Friday, it would make a good entree today.  It’s not difficult, just requires a little patience and some time, but so, so worth it.

spring vegetables + prawn risotto
prep time: 25 mins, total time:  50 mins
serves 6

1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed, cut into 1 ½” pieces
1 cup morels {about 10}, brushed clean,  cut in half
1 cup peas {if fresh, about 1 ½ lbs}
½ medium yellow onion, diced
1 lb prawns, shelled + deveined
6 cups chicken stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
2 cups Arborio rice
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
Kosher salt + white pepper

Prep asparagus , morels, peas and onion.  Bring a medium pot of water to a boil; during which the prawns can be prepped. When water is ready  blanch the asparagus and then the peas, about two minutes each depending on size, placing both immediately in an ice bath.  Drain, pat dry and set aside.

In a medium pan, bring the chicken stock to a boil then reduce heat to a simmer.

Heat oil and butter in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high heat.  Stir in onions and saute for about 5 mins or until translucent.  Add the morels and saute for 1 minute.  Add the rice and saute for a few minutes to ensure the grains are coated thoroughly with the oil and butter.   Reduce heat to low.

Add 1 cup of the simmering stock to the rice, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until all the liquid has been absorbed, about 5 minutes. Add chicken stock, a ½ cup at a time giving the rice time to absorb the stock between adds, stirring constantly.  After 2o minutes, add remaining stock and shrimp.  Cook for 3 minutes. Add asparagus, peas and cheese. Cook for 2 minutes.  Salt and pepper to taste.  Serve immediately.

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