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From Martha Stewart, attributed to her personal chef, Pierre Schaedelin. This is a mild, sophisticated risotto; the flavors blend beautifully, and no particular flavor reaches out and slaps you upside the head :-). I suspect that the asparagus flavor could be punched up by roasting the asparagus rather than parboiling it -- but then it wouldn't have that lovely bright green look to it ... I used a lot less butter and oil than her recipe requires, and it still came out beautifully.
- Prepare fresh mushrooms by cleaning and stemming. Set the stems aside. Cut the mushrooms into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside 1/3 of the mushrooms and coarsely chop them into smaller pieces.
- Put dried mushrooms, the stems from the fresh mushrooms, and six cups of water in a saucepan; bring to a boil over high heat. Let boil for two minutes, then remove from heat and let stand for 20 minutes. Strain mixture through a sieve, retaining mushroom stock and discarding the solids. Keep mushroom stock warm on low heat.
- Prepare asparagus: Cut off 2-inch tips of each stalk and set aside. Take the remaining asparagus spears and cut crosswise into 1/4" pieces. Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil and add asparagus tips; cook until tender-crisp (about two minutes). Drain and immediately plunge into an ice bath or very cold water to stop cooking. Repeat the process with the 1/4" asparagus pieces. (Keep them in separate bowls, because they're being added at different times.).
- In large skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil and add the larger mushroom pieces (that's the 2/3 portion of the mushrooms). Cook, stirring, until golden brown (about two minutes); season with salt and pepper to taste. Add asparagus tips and cook until lightly browned (another minute or two). Remove from heat and set aside.
- Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a saucepan over low heat; add garlic and onion and cook until translucent (about two minutes).
- Add rice and stir to coat. Add wine and two teaspoons of salt and raise heat to medium-high; cook, stirring constantly, until wine evaporates (about two minutes).
- Add 1/2 cup of warm mushroom stock and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is evaporated. Repeat this process two more times.
- Add reserved coarsely chopped mushrooms (that's the 1/3 of mushrooms cut into smaller pieces, that you haven't sauteed yet) and pepper to taste. Continue adding mushroom stock, 1/2 cup at a time, and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid has evaporated. (Should be 20 to 30 minutes total for the process of adding the mushroom stock).
- Add the 1/4" pieces of asparagus to the risotto and cook, stirring, for one minute.
- Remove risotto from heat and add remaining 1/4 cup olive oil to risotto, along with butter and cheese. Stir until butter has melted and mixture is well combined.
- Serve risotto topped with sauteed mushrooms and asparagus tips.
- NOTE: I don't use as much olive oil (or as much butter) as the recipe recommends, and it still turns out fabulously.