Okay, so I realize this may be kind of a lame move, using two ingredients that have very short seasons (fiddleheads and spot prawns), but I spent a good part of last week in Vancouver and just had to pop by the Granville Island Market! How was I supposed to resist fresh spot prawns (caught that morning!) and fiddleheads? Feel free to substitute with a different seafood (scallops would be great) and maybe some fresh green beans if you can’t locate these seasonal guys.

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Lemon Rosemary Risotto with Honey Roasted Fiddleheads and Spot Prawns

Cook Time: 40 minutes
Serves: 4

Ingredients:

For the Risotto
4 cups chicken stock
2 cups cream
2 shallots (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic (minced)
1/4 cup chardonnay
2 cups arborio rice
1 lemon (zested and juiced)
1/4 cup fresh rosemary (loosely chopped)
6 spot prawns
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

For the Honey Roasted Vegetables
1 1/2 cups fiddleheads (soaked, blanched and cooled)
1 cup zucchini (halved, 1/2 sliced)
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
Olive oil

Directions:

1. Preheat your oven to 425°F. Start by heating up the broth and cream in a medium-sized pot. Just before it starts to simmer, reduce to low heat and keep warm on stove. In a large pan, cook the shallots and garlic in a bit of olive oil on medium-high heat until soft, about five minutes. Pour in the white wine and let it reduce by three quarters. Next, stir in the dry arborio rice and let the mixture cook for another few minutes. Start ladling the hot broth into the pan, one cup at a time. Stir regularly and, once the liquid is almost completely absorbed by the rice, add some more. Continue until you’ve used all of the broth and the risotto is al dente, about 25-30 minutes. Finally, mix in the lemon juice, zest and rosemary. Season with some pepper (salt if needed) and keep warm on stove.

2. For the spot prawns, simply boil some salted water in a large pot and toss them in, shell and all, letting them cook for one minute. They’re just like big shrimp, really, but much tastier! Once they’re cooked, their bright colours make them good for garnishing. You can twist them in half, peel the shell off the tail and (this will sound gross) suck out the innards of the head. Surprisingly sweet and delicious. Try it sometime!

3. If you like multi-tasking like I do, you can roast the vegetables while the risotto is cooking. Place the first five roast vegetable ingredients in a mixing bowl. Add some salt, pepper and drizzle with olive oil then toss with hands or tongs to combine. Pour onto a prepared baking sheet and roast in the oven for 20 minutes.

4. Finally, gently stir the vegetables into the risotto and dish out to your dinner guests! Top with a plump spot prawn tail and a head for shooting back! Done and done! Man, typing up this recipe is making me think I need another trip out to the west coast ASAP!