When it comes to `being greenâ€ in the kitchen, my first thought is buy local. Using locally grown produce is a great way to cut down on eating processed foods, and it helps the local economy. Kentucky boasts a number of products that are grown and raised close to home. For a list of producers in your area, visit www.kyproud.com. Many also offer shipping for Kentuckians at heart who live out of state.
In early spring, asparagus, green onions and peas are all in season and add lots of nutrition when used fresh. Make it a family affair and visit the local farmers` market or grocery store to see what other goodies you can find.
Spring Vegetable Risotto
7 cups water
3 teaspoons salt, plus 2 teaspoons for water
Freshly ground black pepper
Â½ cup butter
8 ounces fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 shallot, diced
1Â½ cups Arborio rice
Â½ cup dry vermouth
3 to 4 sprigs fresh thyme or lemon thyme
4 ounces asparagus, cut into Â¼-inch pieces, with woody part removed
Â½ cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup peas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Bring the water to a simmer and add the 2 teaspoons of salt. Keep on a low simmer.
Heat 2 tablespoons of the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and browned. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and set aside.
In a large saucepan, add another 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium-high heat and let brown slightly until nutty. Add the shallot and cook for 2 minutes or until translucent. Add the rice and stir so that it is coated with the butter and glossy, about 1 minute. Stir in the remaining salt. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until the vermouth is absorbed by the rice. Add the thyme sprigs. Ladle in Â½ cup of the simmering water and stir constantly, until the rice again absorbs the liquid, adjusting the heat to maintain a gentle simmer. Continue ladling in Â½ cup of water at a time, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. Add the asparagus.
When rice is tender, but al dente, after about 20 minutes of cooking time, stop adding water. Vigorously beat in the remaining butter and cheese. Add the mushrooms, peas and lemon juice and stir just until heated through. Remove from the heat. Let it rest for a minute or so before serving. Makes 4 servings.
Look for the rest of this month's recipes in the current issue.
Smart Tuna Salad
Steak with Brandy Cream Sauce
Apple Cookies with Vanilla Glaze