No, that's not a reference to Christina Aguillera's last album. It's Ina Garten's new cookbook and tonight we made the spring risotto! (Yes, let's not discuss the fact that it's clearly not spring!). It was really tasty-- the recipe includes leeks, asparagus and peas. Ina makes it with fennel too but I'm not a fennel fan. Maybe I should give fennel a try but I've heard it's related to licorice and that's about as appetizing to me as saying that you should add an ingredient that tastes like root beer. Ugh! But, back to the risotto. At the end of the cooking process Ina has you add in a 1/3 of a cup of mascarpone, 1/2 cup of Parmesan and some lemon juice. I added this in, covered the pan and took it off of the heat (I also added a touch of butter as that's Jamie Oliver's secret to perfect risotto). Maybe I put in more lemon than Ina says, but hey, you've got to make it your own, right? All in all it was quite tasty and quite a nice looking, colorful risotto. (It was colorful in part because I also sauteed a mire poix and added that in so there were carrot bits!)
The real cooking begins tomorrow!