Sunday, May 3, 2009

Spring Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is one of my favorite comfort foods. This recipe incorporates fresh spring-time asparagus. I added some baby peas as a complementary vegetable in this dish—just add a cup of frozen peas after the liquid is absorbed with the rice and reduce the amount of asparagus by a cup. I also drizzle white truffle oil on top just before serving to add a rich finishing flavor. Simply delicious!

To make this a vegetarian dish, just substitute vegetable stock for the chicken stock.

Source: Spring Asparagus Risotto, Cooking Light, April 2009

4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 ½ pounds), divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 ½ cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
¼ cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Place 1 cup asparagus and 1 cup broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Combine puree, remaining 2 cups broth, and 1 ½ cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add ½ cup broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining puree mixture ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 3 cups asparagus; cook 2 minutes.

Stir in ¾ cup cheese, cream, salt, and pepper. Transfer risotto to a bowl. Serve with remaining ¼ cup cheese.

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