Monday, March 11, 2013

Springing Forward

The weather this weekend was pretty unbelievable. It was so nice to go on runs in 60 degree temperatures, walk around without a jacket and have all our windows open. I think everyone in this city agreed because the market was busier than I've seen in awhile and the sidewalks and trails were packed all day. 

There was one thing about this weekend that I did not enjoy. It occurred at 2 AM on Sunday morning. Time change! I hate it. It was just beginning to get light for my morning runs and now I am plunged back into darkness. It really is that dramatic.

I've been working on waking up earlier so that I can add some strength training to my morning workouts and it had been going so, so well. This morning, however, it took a loooong time to drag myself out of bed. And, I'm super grouchy. Not exactly a great start to the week. 

At least I have a nice weekend to look back on! As I was walking to the grocery store yesterday, I knew I wanted to make risotto and I was actually thinking of an old favorite- butternut squash risotto. I couldn't really wrap my head around making a fall/winter risotto when it was 65 and sunny, so I changed my mind and began to think green. Good thing, because as of this week, butternut squash is nowhere to be found.

I love making risotto because you can throw in whatever you have hanging around. The basics include broth, arborio rice and wine, but other than that you can use any random mix of veggies and herbs. I also never use cream in risotto; adding only a limited amount of cheese and one tablespoon of butter. I'm not sure why so many recipes call for cream because I've never felt like my risottos are missing anything!

Spring Risotto

Ingredients

  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into thirds and lightly steamed
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1/2 cup pecorino romano (or similar), plus more for serving

Directions

  1. Pour vegetable broth into a medium saucepan and heat on low
  2. In a separate large pot, heat olive oil and add onion, cooking over medium heat for about 6 minutes until translucent
  3. Add garlic, fresh herbs, salt and pepper- cook for another 3 minutes
  4. Add one cup arborio rice and mix well with onion, garlic and herbs
  5. Add white wine to the rice mixture and stir
  6. When wine is almost fully absorbed, add one ladle-full of vegetable broth to the rice, stir until absorbed and repeat
  7. Continue adding broth to the risotto- when you get close to the end, taste test to check for doneness
  8. Add steamed asparagus, thawed peas and spinach to the risotto and mix well
  9. Remove from heat and add butter and cheese
  10. Plate the risotto and serve with extra cheese on top

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