23 June 2007

Sacramento postscript

I flew home from Sacramento on Friday morning. Traveling east, I lost two hours, so I arrived home mid-afternoon. Our son and his family were coming for dinner. I decided to make the risotto recipe below for dinner. The recipe is from the July Bon Appetit magazine. They suggest serving it with grilled shrimp. We did grilled chicken instead, and it made a great meal. I only made one change. The recipe suggests making the herb paste with butter. To me, it looked like a pesto, so I used a good, Spanish olive oil instead. The basil and parsley were fresh from my garden.

GREEN HERB RISOTTO

cups (loosely packed) fresh baby spinach leaves
½ cup (loosely packed) fresh basil leaves
½ cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 garlic clove, sliced
2 cups low-salt chicken broth
2½ cups water
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 medium leek (white and pale green parts only), thinly sliced
1½ cups short-grain rice (such as arborio) or medium-grain rice
½ cup dry white wine
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus additional for serving

Blend first 5 ingredients in processor until thick paste forms. Bring broth and 2½ cups water to simmer in saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to very low; cover to keep warm.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-low heat. Add leek; sauté until soft, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add rice; stir until heated through, about 3 minutes. Add wine; simmer until absorbed, stirring often. Add warm broth mixture 1 cup at a time, allowing each addition to be absorbed before adding next and stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to bite, about 20 minutes. Cover; remove from heat. Let stand 3 minutes. Uncover; stir in herb paste, 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately in warm bowls, passing additional Parmesan cheese alongside.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Bon Appétit
July 2007
Janet Fletcher

Epicurious.com © CondéNet, Inc. All rights reserved.

Also, with the risotto and grilled chicken, my wife made this chilled pea salad. The recipe appeared in the StarTribune. It's a quick, easy, refreshing, good-tasting, light salad. She makes it, naturally, with fresh mint from our garden.

SALAD WITH MINT AND PEAS

Serves 4.

1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tbsp. olive oil
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 head bibb lettuce (about 9 oz.), washed well and torn into bite-size pieces
1 c. frozen peas, thawed
½ c. fresh mint leaves, torn into bite-size pieces

Directions
In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice and mustard. Whisk in oil. Season with salt and pepper. Add lettuce, peas and mint. Toss to coat.

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