(From Cooks Illustrated)
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley leaves (reserve the stems in a stock pot)
2 tablespoons minced mint leaves (reserve the stems in a stock pot)
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2 inch pieces (break off the tough ends and place them in a stock pot)
2 medium leeks, white and light green parts halved, sliced, and washed (place the dark green tops in the stock pot with the asparagus ends)
4 cups vegetable broth (place in stock pot with leek tops and asparagus bottoms )
3 cups water (place in stock pot with leek tops and asparagus bottoms)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup frozen peas
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 1/2 ounces (3/4 cups) grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1. Place the parsley, mint, and lemon zest in a small bowl and set aside.
2. Bring the broth, water, and reserved vegetable stems and pieces to a boil, partially cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the broth, pressing the solids to extract the liquid. Place the broth back in the stock pot and place on low heat to keep the broth warm.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a large pot and saute the asparagus spears with a pinch of salt and pepper for about 4 minutes. Add the peas and cook for 1 more minute. Transfer the vegetables to a plate and set aside.
4. Melt 3 tablespoons of butter in the same pot and add the leeks, a little salt and some pepper. Cook for about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the risotto and cook for another 3 minutes.
5. Add the wine and stir until absorbed. Continue adding the warm broth a few ladles at a time. Stir constantly until all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue adding more broth until the rice is al dente.
6. Off heat add the last tablespoon of butter, the cheese, and the lemon juice. Gently fold in the asparagus and peas. Top with the chopped parsley, mint, and lemon zest mixture.
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