Asparagus Risotto


I’m baaaaack! Aren’t you oh so happy!? 🙂

I must say that last weekend was horrible! I woke up at 4am with a burning throat, massive migraine, and inability to breathe properly due to MAJOR stuffy nose. By about 11am my temperature was 102 degrees! On top of this, I had comprehensive exams for my degree 9am-4pm and a performance of Carmina Burana following (which is an incredibly demanding work!). Unfortunately, I was unable to perform Carmina Burana, but I did stand with the choir praying the ENTIRE time that I would not pass out during the performance. It was absolutely horrible.

I went to bed (stayed in Macomb) immediately after the concert, woke up (still with high fever), and completed day 2 of comprehensive exams 9am-4pm. Wow.

I did take Monday off (for the most part) to recover. By Monday afternoon, my temperature was finally back to normal, and today I feel so much better – better yet, I found out I passed my music theory/analysis comprehensive exam. I’m still in shock. I barely remember even taking the exam, and from what I do remember I was incredibly ill. I guess it’s good knowing I can accomplish something when I’m sick????

Ok, on to the recipe! This one is a keeper – especially if you LOVE asparagus like I do! 🙂

ASPARAGUS RISOTTO
Makes approx. 4 servings

INGREDIENTS
1 pound asparagus
3 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon butter
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup water)
About 3 1/2 cups vegetable stock (or chicken stock if you choose), can substitute some of the asparagus cooking water for stock*
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

METHOD

1. Prepare the asparagus by breaking off discarding the tough ends (about the last inch of the spear). Cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces. If your asparagus are especially large, cut into even bite-size pieces. Bring a saucepan with a quart of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus pieces to an ice water bath to shock the asparagus into a vibrant green color and to stop the cooking. Drain from the ice water bath and set aside.

2. In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.

3. While the shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.

4. Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
Note the stock amount given is approximate. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and you find yourself without, just use water or the cooking water from the asparagus.

5. Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon butter, and the asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.

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