My OCD suffers frequent mood swings. I can live like a frat bro one day – clothes all over the floor, dishes in the sink that I can’t be bothered to move into the dishwasher that is two inches away, my bed looking like a fight scene from the Lion King was filmed in it. The next day, I wake up in the middle of the night and have to force myself to stay in bed and put aside the incessant cleaning for the morning. But when that morning does come, I become possessed. I vacuum, I launder every piece of clothing, every sheet, and every towel that I can get my hands on. I wash the dog. I consider ironing, but only consider it. I don’t dust, because I hate to dust. Most importantly, I clean out the fridge. It’s amazing the amount of moldy cheese and other unidentifiable objects that you can find in there.
Cleaning out the refrigerator produces some really great kitchen sink meals. This Spring Green Risotto is one of my favorites to date. I had some asparagus that I had not used and tons of fresh herbs that I couldn’t bear to waste. I always have arborio rice on hand, so I was good to go. This creamy risotto is flavored with chives, fresh thyme, and basil pesto (I always have some in the freezer.) Fresh spring asparagus and a heavy hand of Parmesan cheese are added for good measure.
Creamy risotto with asparagus, fresh herbs and basil pesto
4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
2 cups chopped baby spinach leaves
3 tablespoons chopped chives
1 tablespoon chopped thyme leaves
Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons basil pesto
1. Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Cover and keep warm over a low heat.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 4 to 5 minutes, until softened. Add the garlic and cook for about 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add the rice and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until lightly toasted.
3. Add ½ cup of chicken broth to the rice and stir for about 2 minutes, until almost completely absorbed. Stir in the spinach, chives, and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Continue cooking the rice, adding more broth ½ cup at a time and stirring constantly, for 20 to 30 minutes total, until the rice is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and pesto. Serve immediately.