Sunday, March 27, 2011

April Showers Bring May Flowers: Spring Risotto

As you may know, Spring is here in Seattle! I love to see all the tree lined streets with blossoms, while pups trot about, dancing in the spring showers. NO MORE cozing by the fire, it's time for walks outside and farmers market outings, trading in Uggs for rain boots, and new dishes! Baby veggies are practically jumping out of the ground into my shopping basket. A radish here, a pod of peas there…wait. Peas don't live underground. Heh, baby carrots do, though.
I chose the recipe below, based on what I have been focusing on the last couple of weeks, which is collecting recipes for my new job, which I started in January. I got into an in depth discussion on risottos (and as many of you know, one of my favorite things to make) and decided to try out a new food pairing that is: zucchini+prosecco+grana padano

Spring Risotto with Prosecco and Young Zucchini

6 cups chicken or vegetable stock, warmed
3 tablespoons olive oil
3-4 shallots, diced
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup Prosecco
2 cups young zucchini and squash, cubed
Large dollop of Creme Fraiche
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated Grana Padano cheese

Simple Elegance

Bring stock to a low simmer in a medium pot. Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook shallots until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and a pinch of salt. Sauté until rice is coated in oil, 1 to 2 minutes. Add prosecco; bring to a simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of the sparkling wine. Add 2 ladles of stock to rice; simmer, stirring, until rice has absorbed most of stock. Continue adding stock, allowing rice to absorb it before adding the next ladleful. Add a ladle of stock when you can see the bottom of the pan as you drag your wooden spoon through the risotto. Add the zucchini/squash in during the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Cook until rice is al dente and mixture is a little loose. Stir in butter. Turn off heat. Stir in cheese. Garnish your fine meal with a dollop of creme fraiche and some 1980's zucchini shavings a la Wolfgang Puck.


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