Everything at the Market last Saturday just shouted “Spring!” There were fresh greens and herbs everywhere I looked. So I was in the mood for recipes that would be as fresh and green as a spring morning to kick off our Market season in healthy style.

I think the ones I have chosen will do nicely. They make use of all the great fresh flavors of spring at the Market. This one even has a lovely egg topper!  

Spring Vegetable Risotto with Poached Eggs

adapted from a recipe by Alison Roman – photo by Christopher Baker

Risotto only sounds intimidating—if you can stir, you can make it. Poaching the eggs ahead of time should quell any lingering performance anxiety.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shelled fresh (or frozen, thawed) fava beans or peas (from about 2 lb. pods) (if you can’t find fava beans or peas, use fresh asparagus cut in small pieces)
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 6 large eggs
  • 8 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1/4 pound chanterelles or crimini (baby bella) mushrooms, halved or quartered
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, whites and pale greens only, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf spinach, trimmed, leaves torn
  • 2 tablespoons crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1 1/2 cups finely grated Pecorino or Parmesan plus more for shaving
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh chives plus more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Preparation:

  1. Cook beans/peas/asparagus in a large saucepan of boiling salted water 1 minute. Drain; transfer to a bowl of ice water and let cool. (Peel fava beans.)
  2. Bring a large skillet of salted water to a bare simmer over medium-low heat. Add vinegar. Crack 1 egg into a small bowl, then slide into simmering water. Repeat with 2 more eggs. Cook until whites are cooked but yolks are runny, about 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, carefully transfer eggs to a bowl of ice water. Repeat with remaining 3 eggs.
  3. Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cover and keep warm.
  4. Meanwhile, melt 1 tablespoon butter in a large, wide heavy pot over medium heat. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until tender, about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to bowl with favas.
  5. Heat oil and remaining 1 tablespoon butter in same pot over medium heat. Add leeks, fennel, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened, about 4 minutes. Add rice and stir to coat, about 2 minutes. Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until evaporated, about 4 minutes.
  6. Add 1 cup broth. Cook, stirring often (no need to stir constantly), until broth is almost absorbed. Add remaining broth by cupfuls, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more, stirring often, until rice is tender but still firm to the bite and mixture is creamy, about 20 minutes total.
  7. Add spinach, crème fraîche, 1 1/2 cups grated Pecorino, 1/4 cup chives, and reserved fava beans and mushrooms to risotto. Cook, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted and cheese is melted, about 2 minutes. Season risotto with salt.
  8. A few minutes before risotto is done, reheat poached eggs in a large skillet of simmering water, about 1 minute.
  9. Divide risotto among bowls and top with eggs, shaved Pecorino, chives, and pepper. Serves six.

Butter-Braised Spring Onions with Lots of Chives

Roasted Spring Vegetables

Flatbread with Sorrel Pesto and Edible Weed Salad

photos from Hirsheimer & Hamilton for Bon Apetit (left), Romulo Yanes for Bon Apetit (center), and Martha Stewart Living (right)