This is the first risotto I ever made.
Since then, I've made bunches of other risottos. No matter what you do - cheese, no cheese; simple, decadent - risotto always tastes amazing. It's also a great dish to prepare when, after a long day, you're feeling sort of moody and want to zone out over your stove with your wooden spoon.
Still, this risotto is my favorite - the lemon juice and zest make it so flavorful, and it doesn't feel too heavy, like some others. This recipe is the first in my recipe book ... I sure hope you give this one a try!
Spring Risotto with Lemon, Asparagus, and Peas
Slightly adapted from Pink of Perfection
3 small shallots
1 1/2 cup arborio rice
6 cup chicken stock
1 pound asparagus
1 bag frozen spring peas
zest of one small lemon
2 tablespoons lemon juice
handful of grated parmigiano reggiano
In a medium saucepan, bring your stock up to a simmer. Meanwhile, dice the shallots, and snap off the woody ends of the asparagus. If the asparagus is quite thick, you may want to also peel them. Then chop on the diagonal into 1/2 inch pieces.
Heat broad-bottomed saute pan. Add the shallot and cook until soft. Then add the rice and stir to coat.
One ladle-full at a time, add the stock to the rice and stir constantly until completely absorbed before adding more stock. After about ten minutes, add the asparagus, and continue adding stock until the rice is soft and risotto creamy, about 20 or 25 minutes, adding the peas in the last minute. I love this with a few crunches of pepper from the pepper mill.
Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in zest, juice, and cheese. The risotto will continue to thicken, so you should hurry your dinner guests to the table and serve them as soon as you can.