Tuesday, March 29, 2011
On day two of my personal asparagus week, I bring you...asparagus risotto! (You're psyched, I can tell.) Actually it is just a basic Parmesan risotto with some asparagus tossed in for good measure, but it qualifies as an asparagus recipe in my opinion.
Risotto does require a bit of patience and attentiveness, but the good people at Cook's Illustrated discovered that you could reduce some of the stir time by adding about half of the stock at once. "Blasphemy!" some may scream, but...it works! After the initial addition of stock has been absorbed, you continue with small additions the way every other recipe requires, and then, boom, you're done. Top it all off with some grilled or sauteed shrimp and it's a perfect spring dinner that will impress your friends. Or if they can't tell the difference between a good meal and a great one, just enjoy it yourself and invite them over for take out.
(Adapted from The New Best Recipe)
3 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3 cups water
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 pound asparagus, trimmed, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest
Freshly ground black pepper
1. Bring the broth and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, then reduce heat to low and keep the broth warm.
2. Melt the butter in a 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Once the foaming subsides, add the onion and 1/2 teaspoon salt and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onion is soft and transparent, about 8 minutes. Add the rice and cook, stirring, until it is well coated with the butter and the edges of the grains begin to turn translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring frequently, until all the liquid is absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 3 cups of the warm broth and, stirring infrequently (about every 3 minutes), simmer until the liquid is absorbed and the bottom of the pan is dry, 10 - 12 minutes.
3. Add more of the broth, 1/2 cup at a time, as needed to keep the pan bottom from becoming dry (about every 3 minutes). After the second addition of broth, stir in the asparagus and continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked through but still slightly firm in the center, 15 to 20 minutes total.
4. Stir in the cheese and zest and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately, topping with additional Parmesan. Serves 6.