One of the problems for someone who has blogged as long as I have is that, sometimes, we don’t want new recipes.
Sometimes we just want to make the old recipes that are near and dear to our heart.
Sometimes the old recipes don’t need to be improved or changed.
This is especially true for me in the spring when the green garlic and asparagus come into season.
I know I have expounded the glories of green garlic in the past….
But it bears repeating.
Regarding green garlic, Gourmet Sleuth says: ‘A spring culinary treat that does not receive as much fan fare as it deserves.’
Trumpets please: I’m trying to change that.
My favorite way to showcase green garlic is also the simplest… and it was my first (and memorable) introduction to this fantastic allium:
Combining my two favorite spring treats is a must.
Add a poached egg……
Or some cherry tomatoes (also starting to appear in the markets) and mascarpone.
Well, I did manage to make one new dish…. I had a few leftover bits after the weekend.
Risotto with Asparagus, Green Garlic and Snow Peas
2/3 cup Arborio rice (or other rice specifically for risotto – Carnaroli or Vialone Nano)
1/2 cup (4oz, 125ml) dry, white wine
2 cups plus 2 tbs (17oz, 500ml) chicken stock
1 tbs butter
3oz (90gr) thin green asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1.5″ (7cm) lengths
3oz (90gr) thin violet asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1.5″ (7cm) lengths
3oz (90gr) snow peas (mangetout), trimmed, cut in half if large
4 green garlic, thickly sliced
4 slices (3.5oz, 100gr) dry-cured ham, like Prosciutto, chopped
2 tsp olive oil
1/2 cup (2oz, 60gr) Parmesan cheese – freshly grated
Heat chicken stock and keep hot over low heat.
In medium sauce pan heat butter; add rice and sauté, stirring, for 2 – 3 minutes until rice has white center. Add white wine and stir. When wine is almost absorbed add a 1/3 cup of stock and stir. (No need to stir constantly but do stir from time to time.)
When stock is almost absorbed add another 1/3 cup and continue adding 1/3 cup at a time and stirring. Before the last 1/3 cup is added taste a few kernels of rice. They should be just ‘al dente’ – slightly resistant to the tooth but fully cooked. If more stock is needed add it 1/8 cup at a time and waiting until almost completely absorbed. At this point risotto will be thick but not stiff – it will not hold it’s shape on a plate.
Add the Parmesan, Condimenti, stir well, pour into a bowl and serve immediately. It will continue to absorb liquid and the leftovers (if any) will be quite stiff. The risottos that we have eaten in northern Italy have all been served in soup plates (flattish bowls) and eaten with a spoon – not a fork.
Heat oil in a medium skillet. Add green garlic, ham, asparagus and sauté until ham is crisp and asparagus tender. Add snow peas, stir well, and remove from heat. Cover to keep warm until needed.
A reader asked for a picture of green garlic…..
Usually what I get is a bit purplish, but not always. Sometimes it looks just like a green onion and I’m forced to employ the sniff test. I peel the outer layer and slice. When I get close to the green I might take off another ‘outer’ layer. All of the green part is usable.