Spring vegetable risotto with shrimp
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 50 ml / ¼ cup olive oil
- 2 medium onions (chopped)
- 1 small fennel bulb (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 420 g / 2 cups Arborio rice
- 100 ml / ½ cup lemon juice
- 1,5 l / 6-8 cups hot chicken stock
- 3 tbsp unsalted butter
- 100 g / ½ cup mascarpone
- 2 tbsp lemon rind
- coarsely chopped mint leaves
- 450 g / 2 cups (frozen) peas
- 1 bunch asparagus (chopped into 5 cm/ 2-inch lengths and blanched in salted, boiling water)
- 24 large, deveined shrimp (shell on)
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic (minced, about 3 tsp.)
- Zest of half a large lemon
- 1 tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
In a shallow bowl, toss the shrimp with the oil, garlic, zest, rosemary, salt and pepper. Let the shrimp marinate at room temperature while you make the risotto. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan. Add the onion, fennel and garlic and cook over low heat for about 10 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Season with salt. Add the rice and raise the heat to medium high.
Stir to coat and slightly toast the rice for about 3 minutes until the rice will take on a shiny, translucent coat. Add the lemon juice to the rice and continue stirring. Add a ladleful of hot stock to the rice and continue stirring. As the stock is absorbed, continue adding it by ladle and stir. Stop incorporating stock once the rice is creamy but still al dente, cooked but not too soft. This can take between 20 and 30 minutes, and between 6 and 8 cups / 1,5 liter of stock.
Remove the risotto from the heat, and immediately fold in the butter, mascarpone, preserved lemon rind, peas, pepper and most of the mint (save some for garnish). Stir slowly to blend, check a final time for seasoning, and carefully fold in the asparagus. Put a lid on the risotto and let it rest while you quickly fry the shrimp, for about 1 minute on each side.