Remember when I said 2008 was the year of the risotto? Clearly I meant it. For Easter this year we had Paul, Ryan and Betsy over for dinner. I had been to Morningside farmer's market so I had beautiful frisée salad greens, more watermelon radishes (although that farmer told me that this is probably the end of them for the year, so sad), spring onions and a beautiful bunch of sorrel. Sorrel is a leafy green with a wonderful lemony flavor. It is bright and pretty until you cook it, then it turns a muddy dull color. But it tastes amazing! So I thought I'd make a creamy risotto to go with the bright, snappy sorrel and add some tiny sweet green peas at the end to keep a springtime color.
Minced 2 shallots and the white ends from a bunch of spring onions. You can just use 4 shallots instead, if you have no spring onions at your market. I think regular onion would be too strong here. Sauté the shallots and spring onions in 2 tablespoons butter until softened in a large pot. Add 1 1/2 cup arborio rice and continue to sauté for another 3 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of chicken stock, stirring over medium heat until the rice has completely absorbed it. You will repeat this step (slowly adding 1/2 cup of liquid at a time) for 6 cups worth of liquid. I use 5 1/2 cups chicken stock plus 1/2 cup of white wine to make 6 cups total. Betsy told me a story about how she was once at a professor's house during her undergrad and the guy made a big stink about how hard it is to make risotto and how easy it is to screw it all up unless you are Mr. Awesome Kitchen Guy and blah blah blah. Meanwhile the guy's wife is calmly making the entire rest of the dinner in the kitchen and this dude is going on about how hard it is to do the sole task he's taken on: the dreaded risotto. It isn't that hard. The only thing you can screw up is adding all the liquid at once. Don't do that. Be patient, add it slow, stir it and wait for it to absorb before adding more. That's all. After you have added your last 1/2 cup of liquid and everything is creamy and delicious, stir in a bunch of washed sorrel. De-stem it first and cut the leaves into thin strips. At this point, also stir in about 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese, salt and fresh pepper to taste. Dump in about 3/4 cup of tiny green peas--I found mine frozen and labeled "petite pois" at Whole Foods. Turn off the heat and cover your risotto. The retained heat will steam your peas to perfection. Stir once before sevring to mix them in well.