Brown Rice Risotto with Spring Vegetables
Short brown rice make a creamy risotto and gets a boost of color from a bounty of Spring Vegetables.
Place the leeks in a bowl with plenty of cold water, swish around to remove dirt, strain and dry.
Cut off the asparagus tips, slice the asparagus spears 1/3″ thick – reserve all.
For the Green Vegetable Stock:
In a heavy, nonreactive 6 quart pan, add 1T. olive oil, and place over medium heat.
Add the asparagus, kale, leeks, jalapeño and tarragon. Sauté for 3 minutes until the colors pop, and they are crisp tender. Remove the vegetables to a bowl, wipe the pan clean.
Add 3/4 cup of the vegetables (reserve remainder for risotto) and 1/2 cup broth to the carafe of a blender. Whirl at high speed until smooth and bright green, about 30 seconds. Set aside.
Place the 5 1/2 cups of remaining vegetable broth in a pot to hold, bring to a bare simmer.
Add 1 T. butter and 1 T. olive oil to the cleaned pan. Add the scallions, garlic and rice, cook for 2 minutes over medium heat.
Add the wine, stir until it has evaporated. Add 1 cup of hot broth to the pan, stir until it has all been absorbed, about 5 minutes.
Add the remaining broth ( 4 1/2 cups remaining ), bring to a boil, stir once, then cover and lower the heat to a simmer.
In 25 minutes, the broth should be somewhat absorbed. Uncover, and stir up to reduce the last bits of broth.
Add the blended green vegetable mixture, the remaining vegetables, the green peas (they will defrost quickly) and 1 T. cold butter. Give a big stir, and warm through over low heat until creamy- 2 – 3 minutes. Do not overcook at this step, you will lose the bright color. The vegetables should be tender-crisp, and the risotto a bright green color.
Remove from the heat, stir in parmigiano reggiano cheese and taste for seasonings. Add salt if necessary (my vegetable broth is salty enough.)
Garnish with fresh tarragon sprigs and serve immediately.