Sprung on RisottoPosted: May 9, 2012
Spring has sprung! Well, kind of. The weather in New England has been the usual mix of sunny weekdays and cloudy, rainy weekends. Just when you think it’s time to put away the long sleeves and pop on some flip-flops, it goes and rains for 3 days straight. So, in the hopes of making the weather gods happy (or just making myself happy), I’ve made a risotto featuring some lovely spring vegetables. This is a slight variation on the roasted butternut squash risotto I made in the fall, swapping out the squash for leeks and peas. The little green peas add a nice burst of color, right?
Bacon, Leek & Pea Risotto
– 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth
– 6 slices of thick-cut applewood smoked bacon, chopped
– 2 large leeks, thinly sliced
– ½ of a yellow onion, chopped
– 2 garlic cloves, diced
– 2 cups of Arborio rice
– ¾ cup of white wine
– 1 cup of petite frozen peas
– 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
– 1 small handful of parsley, chopped, plus more for garnish
– ¼ cup of grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
– Garlic salt
– Freshly cracked black pepper
– Crushed red pepper flakes
Bring the chicken broth and ½ cup of water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Cover to keep warm.
In a large pot or Dutch oven, cook the bacon until crisp. Place on a paper towel-lined plate and set aside. Add the leeks, onions and garlic to the drippings (or some olive oil) and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the Arborio rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Then stir in the white wine and cook until the wine is absorbed into the rice.
Next, add the broth mixture, ½ cup at a time and stirring constantly, to the rice. When full absorbed, add another ½ cup of broth. Repeat this process until all of the broth has been absorbed into the rice. Add the peas and cook until tender, about 2 minutes. Off the heat, stir in the bacon, butter, parsley and Parmesan. Season to taste with garlic salt, pepper, even some crushed red pepper flakes. Plate, top with some extra bacon, parsley or Parmesan, and eat.