I was about five years old at the time and spring had finally arrived in Michigan. Along with the warm weather, we loved seeing the flowers erupting in our yard. (It was always a very proud day when I got to bring my teachers snowballs and lilacs I picked myself.)
However, I didn’t always know what things were called.
That day, I found flowers on our side steps. Naturally, I yelled for my mom that someone had left us a present.
And, in the loud voice that only a five year old has, I bellowed…
“Mom, someone left panties on our doorstep! They’re such pretty panties!!! Panties, mom, panties!!!”
I kept yelling that so the entire neighborhood could hear, or at least until my mother could rush down the stairs to see what was actually on the step.
Peonies. Not panties.
Peonies have been known as “panties” ever since.
Spring’s Arrival Beet and Asparagus Risotto
- 1 beet, roasted, cooled, and diced (you can find plenty of beet recipes online- much of the cooking temp will depend on what kind of beet you have and how big it is! feel free to make more than one for salads and sides!)
- 1lb asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces, and roasted (throw this into the oven with the beet, topped with a bit of olive oil, salt, and pepper- you can normally do both at 400 degrees, but the asparagus needs far less time than the beet!)
- 4 c low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 4 cloves garlic, minced finely
- 1 onion, diced finely
- 1 c arborio rice
- 1 c white wine
- 2 oz goat cheese, softened
- 1 tbsp parmesan cheese, grated
- Roast any vegetables, if necessary (it’s easy to do this part ahead- just make more of them to use in other dishes!)
- Bring the chicken broth to a boil, then reduce to a simmer.
- In a large pot, heat the olive oil. Saute the onion until translucent, then add the garlic and cook for an additional 30 seconds.
- Add in the rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
- Pour in the white wine. Stir every minute or so until the wine is absorbed. (You want the rice to be at a simmer.)
- Start adding in the chicken broth, 1 c at a time, and let the rice absorb the chicken broth, while stirring fairly often.
- Continue adding the broth one cup at a time until you have used up all the broth (again, keeping the rice at a simmer the entire time), making sure that you let the rice absorb nearly all the broth before adding the next cup.
- Once all the broth has been added, cook for an additional few minutes at a very low heat until the rice reaches your desired consistency (you’re looking for a creamy al dente).
- Turn off the heat. Stir in the parmesan and goat cheeses until melted.
- Stir in the beets and asparagus until the whole dish is a pretty pink color.
- Salt and pepper to taste, and serve.