Monday, April 5, 2010

Task: Easter dinner

My mom tasked me with Easter dinner this year. I took a good 20 minutes of browsing through my favorite cookbook before I decided on Spring Risotto with peas and zucchini. (It was my first attempt at the challenging recipe. It's a slow and tedious process, that's for sure.)

The outcome? Well, it was met with requests for seconds and thirds! (Yay! Mission accomplished.) And while the risotto was the highlight, salmon and roasted asparagus completed the meal.

Spring Risotto
2 cans (14.5 ounces each) reduced-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons butter
1 to 2 large zucchini (1 pound), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Heat broth and 2 1/2 cups water in a small saucepan over low heat; keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 2 tablespoons butter in a 3-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add zucchini; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring often, until zucchini is golden, 8 to 10 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer zucchini to a plate.

Reduce heat to medium-low. Add onion; cook until soft, 5 minutes. Season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Raise heat to medium. Add rice; cook, stirring, until translucent around edges, about 3 minutes. Add wine; cook until absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Cook, adding 1 cup hot broth at a time (stir until almost all liquid is absorbed before adding more), until rice is tender, 25 to 30 minutes total.

Add zucchini and peas; cook until peas are bright green, 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining tablespoon butter and Parmesan. Serve, topped with more cheese.

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