Last week I made the best risotto I think I’ve ever made in my life. It was even better than the risotto Jen, Kyna, Rosie and I shared (the night before I made my own) at Portland Prime. The last time I made risotto I failed hard. It turned out gummy and gluey. But this risotto was perfectly creamy while the asparagus was fresh and crisp. Quite frankly, I fell back in love with risotto this past week.
I used asparagus I bought at Trader Joe’s ($1.99 a pound only to see it advertised cheaper at QFC – hate when that happens!), homemade chicken stock gifted to me by my coworker, freshly grated parmesan cheese, fresh squeezed lemon and the recipe from simplyrecipes.com, a great resource for recipes, if you’ve never been. (Please tell me you’ve been.) I would highly recommend this recipe to any risotto or asparagus lover out there. Bonus: it heats up well. I microwaved leftovers a few days later and found that the leftovers tasted almost as good as the real deal.
- 2 T. butter, divided
- 1/2 c. chopped shallots
- 1 c. arborio rice
- 1/4 c. dry white wine (or juice of one lemon + enough water to make 1/4 c.)
- About 4 c. chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1/2 lb. asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off, spears cut into thin disks
- 1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Bring the stock to a simmer in a medium-sized pot.
- In a large saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook until translucent. Add the rice and cook for about 2 minutes, stirring until nicely coated.
- Add the wine or lemon juice and water combination. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the liquid. Once the liquid is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice.Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed.
- Continue this process adding stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan, especially if not using a non-stick pan. Cook until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20 to 25 minutes. When you add the last bit of stock also add the asparagus. Turn off the heat and stir.
- Gently stir in the shredded cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. Serves 2 as a main dish, four as a side (depending on how much you can eat of course!)