Risotto with Champagne and Spring Veggies

 

I’ve been sitting on this recipe for a while. Not really sure why. Apparently I took the photo immediately after making it, because it’s still a little steamy. Haha.

One of my favorite things about making risotto is that it’s so easy to use up all of your leftover wine – seems like we always have a glass left in the bottom of the bottle. Especially champagne (okay “sparkling wine”). I love it, but since there’s two of us, we don’t always finish a bottle. So, when it’s not good to drink anymore, we make the leftovers into risotto.

Here’s what you need:

  • 1 1/2 cups of rice (arborio is best for truly traditional risotto, but I frequently use brown because it is better for you! Plan more liquid if you use brown)
  • At least one cup of white wine
  • More liquid – you will probably need about 4 cups of liquid total. Use whatever wine you have up to two cups of it, and then fill in the rest of the 4 cups with (ideally) stock/broth, and if you’re out use water.
  • 3/4 cup frozen peas
  • 2 leeks
  • 6-8 stalks young (skinny) asparagus
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil
  • A few generous grates of Parmesan

Start by cutting the leeks into rounds and cooking them in oil over medium heat. They will behave basically like onions. Separate the layers so there are no huge chunks.

When the leeks are about halfway done, add the rice and a little bit more oil and stir fairly frequently. After a few minutes on the heat, the rice will appear translucent with the very core still opaque. That’s when it’s time to add the first cup of liquid. I usually start with the wine.

Bring the wine to a brisk simmer, and then cover the skillet and allow the liquid to cook down, stirring occasionally. When it’s almost gone, add the second cup, and continue as you did with the first cup. Halfway through the liquid, add the peas and the asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces. Keep cooking liquid into the rice, one cup at a time, until the rice is cooked through.

At the very end – while you can still see just a little tiny bit of liquid around the bottom of the pan, grate Parmesan on top to sparsely cover the surface area. Stir in gently and season with a ton of cracked pepper and a little bit of salt (the cheese is salty, so taste it first).

Talk about comfort food.

 

 

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