Yesterday was probably one of the most magnificent evenings I have had in a long time. We got out of school early due to meetings that I wasn’t a part of (score!) and it was a beautiful, almost record-settingly warm day out. Therefore, when I went to pick up Ben from daycare, we headed out to the park. It was so gorgeous. It was 78 with a light breeze and a sun that was just warm enough for comfort, but not too hot to burn. Life could not get better. Ben played on the blanket that we brought and I read my book for the first time in awhile. It was total bliss. Here’s a little picture of Ben getting ready for baseball season:
When we got home, I dove into the box that we got from Washington’s Green Grocer. We got some beautiful leeks this week and I still had some green beans left over from last week, so what better thing to make than a lovely spring risotto? Serve with some seared scallops and you have a wonderful spring meal.
1 1/2 Tb olive oil
3 Tb unsalted butter, divided
3 cups chopped leeks, white and light green parts (2 leeks)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
2/3 cup dry white wine (And an extra 1/2 cup for tasting :). I used pinot grigio)
5 cups simmering chicken stock
1/2 cup marinated artichoke hearts
2 cups green beans
1 tablespoon freshly grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Juice of 1.5-2 lemons
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra for serving
Heat the olive oil and half the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat.
Add the leeks and saute for 5 minutes then add the artichokes and continue to saute for 2 minutes, until tender.
Add the rice and stir for a minute to coat with the vegetables, oil, and butter.
Add the white wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until most of the wine has been absorbed.
Add the chicken stock, 2 ladles at a time, stirring almost constantly and waiting for the stock to be absorbed before adding more. This process should take 25 to 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, either blanch the green beans in salted water, or, if you’re lazy like me, nuke them in the microwave for two minutes with a couple of tablespoons of water. Whether you blanch or nuke, take them out and douse them with cold water to stop the cooking process.
When the risotto has been cooking for 15 minutes, drain the green beans and add them to the risotto with the lemon juice, lemon zest, 2 teaspoons salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper. Continue cooking and adding stock, stirring almost constantly, until the rice is tender but still firm.
When the risotto is done, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and the rest of the butter. This will make it extra yummy and creamy.
I served this with some seared scallops, which I highly recommend. Basically, heat a pan over medium high heat. Coat it with olive oil (about 1 Tb). Cook scallops that have been patted dry and seasoned with salt, pepper and garlic powder for about 2.5 minutes per side. When you flip, hit them with the juice of half a lemon. Enjoy!