Brown Rice Spring Vegetable Risotto

This risotto makes a delicious side dish for Easter dinner or a satisfying main course on its own. While the nature of brown rice means that this dish takes longer to cook than standard risotto, it is well worth the wait. You can adapt the recipe according to the seasonal produce available.
Cooking time/temp: 
30 minutes
Ingredients: 

Serves 6

1 quart vegetable broth
5 cups water
1/2 pound (about 1/2 bunch) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 2-inch pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 cups uncooked short-grain brown rice
2 carrots, trimmed and chopped
2 zucchini, trimmed and chopped
1/2 cup fresh or frozen and thawed peas
2/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon butter
Sea salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: 

Bring broth and water to a boil in a medium pot. Add asparagus and simmer until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer asparagus to a bowl of ice water until well chilled, then drain and set aside. Cover broth-water mixture and bring back to a simmer.

Heat oil in a medium pot over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 4 to 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring gently, until toasted and fragrant, 4 to 5 minutes. Add 1 cup of the broth-water mixture and cook, stirring constantly and adjusting heat if needed to maintain a simmer, until liquid is almost absorbed. Repeat process, adding about 1/2 cup of the broth-water mixture each time, until rice is just beginning to get tender, about 25 minutes. Add carrots and continue process with broth-water mixture. When rice is just al dente and carrots are just tender, add zucchini and cook 5 minutes more. (If broth mixture gets low, add water as needed.)

Stir peas and asparagus into rice and cook until hot throughout, 2 to 3 minutes more. Add cheese, butter, salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add about 1/2 cup more of the broth-water mixture to finished risotto before serving, if you like.