Lemony Risotto Croquettes With Slivered Snow Peas, Asparagus, and Leeks
1 tablespoon butter
1 ball (1/4 pound) fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
3 cups bread crumbs
3 tablespoons butter
2 fat leeks, white parts only, halved, cut into 2-inch pieces, and finely slivered
1 pound asparagus, tough ends snapped off, peeled if thick, then slivered, including the tips
2 big handfuls of snow peas, thinly slivered
2 handfuls of edible-pod peas, slivered
Bring 1 quart water to a simmer in a 3-quart pan with a tight-fitting lid. Melt the butter in a 10-inch skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat. When sizzling, add the scallions. Cook, stirring frequently, for about 1 minute, then add the rice, turn to coat it with the butter, and cook for a minute or two. Stir in 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the rice to the simmering water. Cover and cook over low heat for 16 minutes. Remove the lid, and if there's still water present, cook it off. Otherwise, stir in the lemon zest, parsley, pepper, and cheeses, then allow the rice to cool in the pan. Stir in one of the eggs.
Whisk the remaining eggs in a pie pan. Put the breadcrumbs on another pie pan or plate. Using your left hand, dip each croquette into the egg mixture, then, using your right hand, gently roll it in the crumbs to coat. Set it aside on a tray covered with wax paper until all are made. (These can be refrigerated hours ahead of time, then brought back to room temperature before frying.)
When ready to eat, preheat the oven to 300°F if you're planning to hold them. Generously coat 2 wide skillets with olive oil. When hot, add the croquettes and cook over medium heat, gently turning them to brown them all over, 5 to 7 minutes total. Transfer them to a plate and set in the oven while you sauté the vegetables.