Prep 10 mins
Cook 35 mins
I found a great deal on asparagus at the public market, so, in my search for recipes to use 10 pounds of asparagus (!), I've found several variations of asparagus risotto. This one is adapted from a combination of several different ideas. . . an asparagus puree helps capture the subtle flavor, and the tender tips are added in right before serving. If you prepare your ingredients ahead of time (mis en place), this will go together very quickly and easily. Ideal with a fresh crusty bread and a crisp white wine - I recommend an Italian pinot grigio.
- 1 lb fresh asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 4 cups low sodium chicken broth, divided
- 1 lemon, zest of
- 1⁄4 cup pine nuts
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 cup risotto rice (arborio, carnaroli or other)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1⁄4 cup parmesan cheese, grated or 1⁄4 cup romano cheese
- salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Steam asparagus in 1 cup chicken broth.
- When asparagus is tender, set aside tips.
- Combine remaining asparagus with broth used to steam asparagus.
- Add lemon zest.
- Puree asparagus, steaming liquid and lemon zest together. A stick blender is ideal for this, but a blender works just fine.
- Set aside processed asparagus, broth and zest.
- Heat remaining broth in saucepan or microwave.
- In deep skillet or saucier, toast pine nuts, then remove from pan and set aside.
- Heat olive oil over medium heat in same pan.
- Saute onion, carrot and garlic 3-5 minutes, over low heat, seasoning with salt and pepper, until onions are translucent and carrots are softened; do not brown vegetables.
- Stir in rice.
- Saute another 3-5 minutes, stirring, until rice is covered with oil and glistening.
- Still over medium heat, add heated broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly and adding more broth as each previous addition is absorbed.
- When all of broth has been added, add asparagus-broth-lemon zest puree, 1/2 cup at a time, until rice is tender and almost all liquid has been absorbed.
- It will take 20-30 minutes to incorporate all liquid - your patience will be rewarded!
- Gently fold in reserved asparagus tips and toasted pine nuts.
- Remove from heat.
- Stir in butter and parmesan.
- Serve immediately.
Pureeing half the asparagus with the chicken broth is such a nice touch! Instead of adding the puree along with the cheese at the end, i added the parmesan (and fontina and about a tbsp of lite cream cheese) to the asparagus broth puree and then added it all to the risotto at the end. I am excited to make this again for company!
I have never made a risotto before so this was a first for me, and I wasn't disappointed, I have had bad results cooking asparagus before, and it was inedible, but I am very pleased to say that I have conquered my fear of asparagus and risotto. It was outstanding, when my DH saw me making it he said I don't like asparagus and I said give it a try, and as it was cooking he kind of went Mmmm, that smells good! so we now have a convert, he said he was pleasantly surprised, and had a second helping and said he would give you ten out of ten if he could. Thank you for a very good recipe. Made for PAC spring 2009.