Asparagus & Sweet Peppers: Delightful Match!

I am a big fan of color–big fan. My couch is red, my hangers are lime green, the chairs on the porch are electric blue, and few clothes in my closet follow a neutral palette. So it’s no surprise that I also like colorful meals. Meals or dishes with lots of color have different flavors, variety, and are usually really good for you. What I especially love about this dish is that it even looks like Spring!

When my father and his brothers were young boys, asparagus grew wild along the banks of the canals and creeks near their childhood home. The boys would go out and hand cut the asparagus and bring it home for dinner. Call me wistful or nostalgic, but I just think that’s a really cute visual! Asparagus popping up at the local market is a sure sign that Spring is here.

When choosing asparagus, I grab the smallest, most tender stalks I can find. The sweet peppers compliment the asparagus–which can have a slightly bitter flavor according to some–and when mixed inside a creamy risotto…I’m salivating! I want to make this dish again right now!

Spring Risotto With Asparagus & Sweet Peppers
–2 tsp olive oil, divided
–1 small shallot, diced
–1 cup arborio rice
–1 cup wine
–1 cup chicken broth
–1 oz. goat cheese
–1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends removed and stalks snapped into 2-inch long pieces
–4-5 small sweet peppers, roughly chopped
–black pepper

Heat a medium-sized saucepan on medium-high heat. Add 1 tsp of the olive oil and the shallot and sauté for a few minutes, until the shallot begins to get translucent. Add the dry arborio rice and stir for 1 minute before adding 1/2 cup of the wine. Stir regularly and as the rice absorbs the wine, add the other 1/2 cup of wine. Once the rice has absorbed the wine begin adding the chicken broth in 1/4 cup increments, stirring regularly and allowing the rice to absorb the broth before adding more.

While the risotto cooks, heat a small frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil and the asparagus and peppers to the pan. Crack a healthy dose of black pepper over the veggies and sauté until tender, tossing regularly for even cooking.

When the veggies are done add them to the rice pot, stirring well to combine. Add the goat cheese and again stir well to melt the goat cheese and mix the creamy deliciousness into the risotto. Serve and top with more black pepper if desired!

Dammit Jim, I’m a cook, not a doctor…
Time: 30 minutes
Serves: 4
Calories: 271 per serving

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