Fresh Pea and Asparagus Risotto with Mint

Simple, but stunning, this risotto makes the most of late spring and early summer ingredients. It's best made with fresh shelling peas, but frozen will do in a pinch.

3 T olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
4-5 cups vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 cup dry white wine
3/4 lb fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 lb freshly shelled peas
2 T fresh mint leaves, minced
2/3 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

Heat broth over low heat and reserve.
Steam the asparagus for approximately five minutes (or until just tender). It's important NOT to overcook the asparagus at this stage, since it will cook a bit more when added to the risotto. Plunge into very cold water to halt cooking process.

Heat olive oil over medium high heat in a large risotto pan. Add onion and saute until nearly transluscent. Add the rice, and stir to coat the grains with oil. Allow to saute for a moment or two before adding the white wine to the pan. Cook until wine is absorbed and no odor of alcohol remains.

When wine has absorbed, you can begin to add the broth slowly, about 1/3 cup at a time. Add enough so that the rice stays wet, but never so much that it completely covers the rice. You don't want to see large amounts of liquid in the pan. When the rice has absorbed all the liquid from the last addition, add another one. Keep stirring. Be patient and keep the heat on simmer. You should hear the steam when you add the broth, but the rice shouldn't stick to the pan. Continue adding broth for 20-25 minutes, or until the rice is almost al dente.

When the rice is almost completely done, add the peas and asparagus to the pan. Allow to heat through, then add the cheese and mint. Stir to combine.

Serve sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese.

We talk about this recipe HERE.