The Genie Is Out Of The Bottle….

Today was cold and gray and just a tad biting- a perfect reminder that Spring is still as fickle as ever: a sniff of sweet Summer with a bitter hint of Winter still holding on. While the temperature was not “cold” today, it was not warm and the wind, when it blew, was fierce. But still, it is Spring and as far as I am concerned, if the temperatures hit above 70 once and the calendar says March, the genie is out of the bottle and Spring it is!

So what to have for dinner? It’s a Friday, and we are all spent. We need food that will heal us and comfort us, yet nothing too heavy because, after all-it is Spring. So, I am stuck searching for something with the lightness and taste of Spring- but the warmth and creaminess I associate with Winter food. Asparagus is the ultimate Spring food, and in this case, risotto is its’ perfect foil. This afternoon an idea started to form…an asparagus risotto with peas and prosciutto. Ooh- it was a good one!

Asparagus Risotto with Peas and Prosciutto– Serves 4

6 cups chicken stock, preferably homemade
1 ½ large onions, finely chopped
6 cloves of garlic, minced
1 stick and 4 T butter
1 t sea salt
freshly ground pepper
1 ½ c. Arborio rice
1 c. dry white wine
2 bunches of asparagus, tough ends removed, and cut into 1” pieces
1 cups frozen peas
8 slices of good quality prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons
6 T chopped Italian parsley
2 T finely grated lemon zest
4 T grated fresh good quality Parmesan

1. Heat the chicken stock until it almost boiling and then reduce the heat to low.
2. Melt the stick of butter in a large heavy pot. Add the onion, salt and pepper and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
3. Add the rice and cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Add the wine and stir constantly until the wine is completely absorbed.
5. Add ½ c. of hot chicken stock and cook, stirring often, until almost all the broth has been incorporated-about 4-5 minutes. Repeat until the rice is al dente.
6. Meanwhile, boil a pot of salted water. Place the asparagus in the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Strain and rinse in ice cold water. Set aside.
7. Place peas in a microwave safe container with a bit of water and microwave for 2 minutes. Strain and set aside with asparagus.
8. When risotto is al dente, remove the pot from the heat and add the remaining 4 T of butter. Stir well until the butter is incorporated into the rice.
9. Add the asparagus, peas, prosciutto, lemon zest, parsley and parmesan and stir to combine.
10. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

p.s.: I forgot to take a picture of our dinner before we ate it-and, there are NO leftovers. So sorry, but the no leftovers part must tell you something! As a result, there will be no visuals today. I could try to figure something out…but honestly, I am too tired to do that. I am sure that you will understand and take my word that dinner was truly fab. Try this one- you will not be sorry!

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2 Comments

  1. Lisa Beach
    Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:17 pm | Permalink | Reply

    Caroline, I utterly ADORE everything about your blog! Your recipes are divine, your family life is so relatable — even to those of us who DON’T have kids! — and you are so accessible…..in my next life, I really DO want to be Caroline Fitzgibbons Smith for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is your utterly captivating take on life, which is refreshing, inspiring, and DELICIOUS!!!!!:):):)

    • Posted April 16, 2010 at 9:43 pm | Permalink | Reply

      Oh Nutty- Thank you! It makes me so happy to have you out there reading! Come visit (and eat!) soon! We love you! XO

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