8 cups chicken stock
1 bunch asparagus, ends snapped and reserved, stalks sliced
1 cup shelled fresh peas, pods reserved
1 tablespoon unsalted butter, plus 1 additional tablespoon to finish (optional)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 glass dry white wine
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
Finding myself without homemade stock, I doctored Better than Bouillon with the trimmings from the peas and asparagus to make a flavorful broth for this simple spring risotto
1. In a medium pot, combine the chicken stock with the asparagus ends and the pea shells. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to keep the stock at a steady simmer.
2. Meanwhile, place the asparagus in a microwave-safe bowl, sprinkle with a pinch of salt and cover with plastic wrap. Microwave at high power until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes. (Alternatively, steam the asparagus over boiling water until crisp-tender, 3 to 5 minutes.)
3. In a wide, heavy skillet, melt 1 tablespoon of butter in the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 3 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until the grains begin to look translucent, 3 more minutes.
4. Add the wine to the skillet and cook, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladleful of simmering stock to the skillet (leaving the asparagus and pea trimmings at the bottom of the stockpot). Cook, stirring, until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this process, adding the stock a ladleful at a time and stirring until absorbed, until the rice is al dente, about 15 minutes. You will have used most of the stock.
5. Stir the asparagus and peas into the risotto along with another ladleful of stock and stir until the vegetables are just tender. Stir in the cheese and the remaining tablespoon of butter (if using) and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve right away.
Find out more about this recipe on Zoe's blog, Mom Appetit.