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This recipe is from Vanessa Lanier, chef of the High Point (North Carolina) Country Club. While it is time-consuming, the creamy result is worth the effort. The recipe was published in a local periodical.
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into small pieces
- 1 3⁄4 cups fat-free low-sodium chicken broth
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 1⁄2 cups onions, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 1 cup arborio rice, uncooked
- 3⁄4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1⁄4 cup neufchatel cheese
- 1⁄2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 1 ounce parmesan cheese, shaved
- 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, chopped
- Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a saucepan. Add asparagus and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and set aside.
- In a saucepan, add 1/4 cup water to 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
- Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil and swirl to coat. Add onion; cook 4 minutes. Add garlic; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in peas, uncooked rice, and salt; cook for 1 minute.
- Stir in 1 cup broth mixture; cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed before adding more (about 20 minutes total).
- Stir in asparagus, Neufchâtel cheese, and pepper; cook 1 minute. Spoon 1 cup risotto into each of 4 bowls.
- Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly with thyme.