I know spring is here when I see tender asparagus, early peas and my beloved baby artichokes popping up in the produce aisles. Baby artichokes are so easy to prepare and with a little trimming you’re able to eat the whole thing, there’s no comparison to the taste and texture of fresh verses frozen, jarred or canned, none at all!
With minimal prep work you can get this on your table in no time and what a treat it is, a one pan wonder in deed. Don’t be intimidated when making risotto it just needs a little nurturing and constant stirring but you can’t beat the end result!
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- 4 fresh BABY artichokes, trimmed and kept whole
- 1 small zucchini, sliced into rounds
- 1 lb. of fresh asparagus, tender and thin, trimmed and cut into thirds or fourths
- 1 heaping cup of fresh or frozen peas
- 1 small leek, cleaned and sliced
- 1½ cups of arborio rice
- 1 quart of chicken or vegetable stock, warmed and simmering on the stove
- ½ cup white wine
- 1 cup of parmesan cheese, finely shredded
- handful of parsley
- 1 tablespoon, butter
- 2 or so tablespoons of olive oil
- Prep veggies ahead of time, for the Baby Artichokes: Snap off the outer leaves until you reach the tender pale yellow green layers, then with a serrated knife trim the tip and stems. You can steam or boil, they take about 15 minutes, I usually boil placing them whole into the water with some lemon slices and a drizzle of olive oil. When finished, let them cool then place them tip side down and cut in half, you now will have 8 artichoke halves.
- For the Asparagus, roast on sheet pan at 400, don't let them get brown, it only takes a couple of minutes.
- For the Zucchini Rounds, saute in olive oil, medium high heat on top of stove until golden, just a couple of minutes it takes.
- Cook Peas accordingly.
- FOR THE RISOTTO:
- Have broth simmering on low heat in separate pan.
- In a heavy bottom pan heat olive oil and butter on medium heat, when melted add in the leeks, cooking until soft.
- Add in rice, stirring for a few minutes until well coated and hot.
- Deglaze with wine, let it cook down for a few seconds.
- Add in a ladle full of broth, stirring until it all absorbs.
- Continue adding in broth, same way, stirring it and letting it all absorb.
- You'll know when it's done because rice mixture will become creamy and tender with just a little bite, you don't want your rice to taste mushy.
- Pull off the heat, add in the cheese and stir until incorporated, add a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and gently fold in all the veggies.
- Garnish with parsley.