Pea Pesto

_MG_6162This is one of my go-to spring recipes, especially for entertaining. The pea and basil together are super refreshing (you can also use mint), and since everything gets thrown in the food processor, it only takes minutes to prepare. My favorite way to eat is with toasted bread, but since I spent hours (literally) rolling out these flat breads one Saturday, I thought they would make a nice accent. (The flat bread is SO good, but very time-consuming due to all of the hand-rolling, and if you are going to make these, you should definitely not go to P90X that morning or you won't be able to lift your arms.)_MG_6172  

_MG_6167I also served with this amazing whipped feta (all credit goes to my friend Arie for introducing me to this recipe). Seriously, the next time you have people over (or not, if you want it all to yourself), you must make this. It's like whipped gold.

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Pea Pesto (makes about 1 cup)

1 cup peas, fresh or frozen and defrosted

1/4 cup fresh basil

1/4 grated parmesan cheese

3-4 tablespoons olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse until creamy, then season with salt and pepper as needed. Serve immediately with bread or crackers of your choice, or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.

 

Risotto Primavera

Spring certainly feels like it's in the air in New York. I spied some asparagus at the grocery store the other day that actually looked fresh, and couldn't pass up the chance to try it. This is one of my favorite dinners to make in the spring -- still hearty enough for cold nights, but a nice way to showcase spring vegetables. It is especially good served with a crusty baguette and a glass of chenin blanc. Risotto Primavera

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 white onion, finely chopped

1 shallot, finely chopped

2 cups arborio or short grain rice

6 cups chicken broth

1 14-oz can artichoke hearts, roughly chopped

1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup peas

10 oz spinach, roughly chopped

3 oz proscuitto, chopped

1/2 cup parmesan cheese

In a large pan or dutch oven, melt butter over medium heat. Add onion and shallot and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Add arborio rice and sauté until white dot is visible in the middle, 1-2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir to coat. Begin to add broth 1/2 cup at a time, waiting until almost all has been absorbed before you add the next half cup.

Once you have added half the broth, stir in the artichokes. Keep adding broth, and when you have 1/2 cup left, stir in asparagus, peas, and spinach. Add last part of broth and let absorb. Rice should be tender but still have a slight bite.

Stir in prosciutto and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.