Monday, May 24, 2010

Spring Time Risotto

This recipe was inspired by a couple of sources.  First, Bittman's How to Cook Everything Vegetarian has a recipe variation for risotto with four cheeses.  I'm still trying to figure out what the fourth cheese is as he only lists three, but it's still over the top.  Second, I've noticed an explosion of posts on food blogs lately featuring fiddleheads.  I'd never noticed or heard of them before, but the look intrigued me, so I decided it was time to try them.  This post provided the perfect inspiration for combining the mysterious fiddleheads with the risotto I already wanted to make.

Spring Time Risotto

1 cup risotto rice
1 wineglass dry white wine/vermouth
3-4 cups chicken broth
2 tbsp olive oil
1/2 onion, chopped
3 tbsp butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1/3 cup grated Parmesan
1/3 cup grated Fontina
1/3 cup crumbled blue cheese (gorgonzola or your choice)
1/2 cup dried chickpeas (or you can use canned)
1 bundle asparagus, cut into 1 inch spears
1 cup fiddleheads
1 cup snow peas
zest of one lemon
salt and pepper to taste

1.  If using dried chickpeas, pre-soak them for a few hours ahead of time.  Drain water.  Place in saucepan and cover with water.  Bring to a boil.  Cook the beans while making the risotto.
2.  Bring a large pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling, cook fiddleheads for 10 minutes and asparagus and snow peas for 5 minutes.  When cooked, dunk in a cold water bath. 
3.  Meanwhile, in a separate pot, heat the chicken broth.
4. In a separate pan, heat the olive oil and 2 tbsp butter.  Saute the onion and garlic (try not to colour them).
5. Add the rice and stir.
6. When the rice looks somewhat translucent, add the wine.  Stir occassionally.
7. Reduce heat. When the wine has evaporated, add a ladle-full of broth to the rice.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Stir.  When the broth is absorbed, add another ladle-full.  Continue this process.  It will take about 15 - 20 minutes.  Taste rice occassionally and continue adding broth until it tastes cooked.
8. Remove from heat.  Add 1 tbsp butter, lemon zest, and the cheese.  Stir.  Place lid on pan, allow to sit for 2 minutes
9. Stir in cooked chickpeas and greens.


  1. Just out of curiosity, how do you like the Bittman book? I've been thinking about getting it, but haven't had a chance to look over it in person...


  2. I like it, but more as a source of inspiration or what can I do to use up ingredients xyz that I need to get rid of before it goes bad. It's really great for giving you basic techniques and simple recipes that are infinitely adaptable along with suggestions on changes that would also be delicious to try. It's also good I think for building confidence with cooking and experimenting because none of the recipes really feel like they're written in stone. The downside is that because everything is so adaptable and simple, I don't think any of the dishes are really outstanding, they're just good staples.