Creamy, rich, and a bit decadent, risotto is well worth the preparation and cooking time necessary to create it. This version's lush, creamy richness is complimented by the crisp, sweet bite of asparagus and sweet snow peas, enhanced by the mild chives, and all of those flavors are pulled together with a touch of white wine, butter, and Parmesan. This is a must try! Serves 4-6
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 2-inch pieces
1 1/2 cup snow peas,strings removed, and cut in half or thirds (depending on size) on the diagonal
5 cups low-salt chicken broth (canned or boxed)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallot
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 Tablespoons fresh chives, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
5 Tablespoons butter
3/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the asparagus. One minute later add the peas. Cook about 1 minute longer. Drain into a colander and immediately rinse with cold water until cool. Toss a bit in the colander and drain really well.
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer on a back burner, reduce the heat to low and hold hot.
Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan (I use a wide, heavy bottomed pan about 4-inches tall) and saute the shallot until it is translucent, about 3 minutes.
Add the rice and stir for 3 minutes.
Add the white wine and cook until it evaporates.
Ladle in about a cup of the hot chicken broth and cook and stir until the broth is absorbed. Continue cooking, stirring constantly, adding broth a cup at a time, adding more as it is absorbed, until the rice is tender but still just barely firm in the center and the mixture is creamy. (All of the chicken broth may not be needed, so use only what it requires. The whole process will take about 20 minutes.)
Add the asparagus, peas, and chives and heat through. Add the butter and stir until melted and incorporated. Add the Parmesan, reserving a little for garnish, and stir in well. Taste and season with salt and pepper.