Asparagus and Taleggio Risotto and Some Thoughts on Running

HudsonLast Mother’s Day I went for a run for the first time in years and then I did it again the next day and the next and the day after that too. I kept going, taking at least a day off every week, but rarely more than two (minus a vacation or two) until I was injured in July, a swollen tendon in my left foot that was still adjusting to the new habit.  I obeyed my doctor’s orders and took three weeks off lest it be a stress fracture (I also couldn’t really walk) but then I was back the very next day and the day after that and the one after that too. There was a lot of icing of aches and pains as I brought my body back to where it once had been, until I coaxed and eased it into the long miles my newly acquired hobby demanded, until I reminded every last joint just how unbelievably amazing it feels to let the strength of your own muscles propel you forward at great speeds. Most days I run for nothing more than the pleasure and grace of running itself. I’m not training for anything. I haven’t run a race since my freshman year in college. I’m not running to lose weight–although I’m not disappointed with the amount of calories I need to consume to keep going either. I run because I love to run.

That’s my favorite running route above which runs along the Hudson River in New York City and where you’re likely to find me almost every single morning, come rain, snow, ice or fog.  Last Mother’s Day I ran only about a mile, just about to where the photo was taken. It hurt. I ran to the closest water fountain and dragged myself back. This Mother’s Day I ran an easy 8 miles, gaining speed at the end and feeling like a champion race horse. Oh what a difference a year can make.

My mother has always loved to watch me run and even as a single working mother, never missed one of my races while I was growing up (not a single one) so this seems a fitting reflection for a Mother’s Day post, as does asparagus and taleggio risotto.

Asparagus and Taleggio Risotto

This bright and elegant, but simple risotto is perfect for May when asparagus is in season and for a lunch outside on the lawn with plenty of sunlight and a glass of dry white wine. I followed the recipe from the blog familystyle food for the most part, but traded the parmesan for a more robust taleggio. Adding the pureed asparagus and spinach after cooking the risotto definitely preserved the gorgeous green hue of the vegetables, but unfortunately also made the texture more watery than I would have liked in a risotto. I think I would use less puree next time and add it more cautiously and gradually and forgo adding the water used to boil the asparagus to the puree, hoping for a more chunky vibrant green. I also, unfortunately, ate it inside without my mother, but perhaps next year  when I’ve perfected its consistency, we can eat it together outside in the sun.

It’s amazing what a difference a year can make.

Happy Mother’s Day Mom!

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