Everyone has their comfort food…something that just makes them kind of forget everything that is going on around them and just brings a comfort and nourishment to their being. Risotto is one of those kinds of food for me. The process is very meditative with the stirring and adding of ingredients…it is not fast food but it is wonderful food and something so versatile that you can prepare it with almost an endless combination of items. Today’s is a simple Risotto Primavera utilizing some asparagus, peas, leeks, lemon, and fresh basil. I’ve already got my little bit of comfort going today and you can too.
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice
2 large leeks, green parts chopped
4 tbsp. extra virgin olive
32 oz. vegetable stock (plus extra water if needed)
12 oz. asparagus, ends trimmed and cut in 1-inch pieces
6 oz. sweet peas
1 fresh lemon (zest plus juice)
6 oz. Daiya white shreds or other white vegan cheese shreds
6 fresh basil leaves (rolled and chopped)
freshly ground salt and pepper to taste
In a medium-size pan on stove, heat vegetable stock. In large pot over medium-high heat, add olive oil and then leeks and cook for a couple of minutes. Add rice and stir till rice is well coated, a minute or two. Start adding warm stock to risotto a ladle at a time and stir frequently. Repeat this process over a span of about twenty minutes until the stock is all absorbed. About half way through add the asparagus and peas. With about 5-7 minutes left add the basil leaves, lemon zest and juice, and the shreds to the risotto. Salt and pepper to taste. When risotto is cooked to your liking take off the heat and let sit for a couple of minutes before serving. Spoon onto plates or bowls and garnish with lemon slices and fresh basil leaves. Makes 4-6 servings.