Spring Shrimp Risotto

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Spring. The in-between.  The days are getting a little longer, the weather a little warmer- but we’re not quite in the footloose and fancy free days of summer.  As we opt for lighter jackets and sunglasses over wool coats and knit caps, we’re also starting to get ready to trade big bowls of warm, steamy comfort for fresh salads, big bowls of berries and any food that can be thrown on the grill.

But, not so fast.  Baby steps.

This dish, Spring Shrimp Risotto, is just that.  Baby steps.  Hearty enough to keep the chill off, but so bright and colorful that it just might persuade us to start eating more salads soon.

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Serves 4

Ingredients

3 TB shallots, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 TB unsalted butter

1 cup Arborio rice

½ cup medium-dry white wine

2 ½ seafood or vegetable stock

½ cup frozen peas

1 cup arugula

2 TB chopped parsley

½ pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined

2 ounces prosciutto, sliced into thin ribbons

½ cup shredded parmesan cheese

Zest of 1 medium lemon

Juice of ½ of that medium lemon

1 tsp crushed red pepper

½ tsp black pepper

½ tsp sea salt (or to taste)

Extra cheese, to garnish

2 TB heavy cream (optional)

Directions

1.  In a deep pot, heat the stock over medium low heat.

2.  In a large, somewhat deep skillet, heat the butter over medium-high heat. Add the shallots and garlic to pan and cook to soften 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the rice.

3.  Cook the rice for 1 to 2 minutes, then add the wine and cook until evaporated. Add in the hot stock, about 1 cup at a time, and stir for a minute with each addition, to develop the starch and the creamy aspect. Total cooking time will be about 18 minutes or so. Keep adding stock each time the pan starts to become dry at the edges.

4.  When rice is cooked to al dente, where it just as a bit of a bite, stir in the lemon juice, the cheese, parsley, arugula, peas and shrimp with just a touch more stock. Cover and let the shrimp cook to pink and arugula wilt, about 4 minutes, max. Season with salt and pepper and fold in the prosciutto. Serve immediately.

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