Asparagus risotto juxtaposes tradition with innovation and ease of making with complexity of taste. And it comes together quickly enough to make on a weeknight. You’re welcome.
This asparagus risotto is an easy, light, spring-inspired riff on traditional risotto that still manages to maintain all the rich, indulgent, creamy goodness of the Italian classic. Creamy rice keeps company with spears of tender asparagus and flecks of fresh mint. Yum.–Angie Zoobkoff
Asparagus Risotto Recipe
- Quick Glance
- 40 M
- 40 M
- Serves 4 to 6
- 10 1/2 ounces asparagus (300 g) (about 30 thin spears)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml), plus more for drizzling
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (1/2 ounce or 14 g)
- 2 small shallots, finely chopped (about 2 ounces or 56 g)
- 9 ounces risotto rice, such as Arborio (about 1 1/4 cups or 250 g)
- 1/2 cup white wine, such as sauvignon blanc (125 ml)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced (about 1/2 ounce or 14 g)
- 3 to 4 cups store-bought or homemade chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 1 ounce Parmesan cheese (28 g), grated (about 1/2 cup)
- Small handful fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1 ounce or 28 g)
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1. Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and toss them in the compost. Slice the asparagus spears on the diagonal into 1/2-inch (1-cm) lengths.
- 2. In a large, wide saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat, warm the oil and butter. Add the shallots and rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the shallots are softened and the rice is just beginning to color, 4 to 6 minutes. Pour in the wine, add the garlic, reduce the heat to medium-low, and gently cook until the wine is fully absorbed, 2 to 3 minutes.
- 3. Meanwhile, warm the stock in a small saucepan over medium-high heat.
- 4. Now simply add a ladleful of stock at a time and stir until it’s almost completely absorbed. So go ahead and add your first ladleful of stock (you’re aiming for about 1/2 cup) to the rice and then keep stirring as it cooks. Only add the next ladleful of stock when the previous one has been almost completely absorbed—it’s this slow and gentle process that coaxes the risotto to creaminess.
- 5. Cook the risotto, gradually adding a ladleful of stock as the previous one is almost completely absorbed, 20 to 25 minutes. You’ll need to add a total of 3 to 4 cups stock. You’re looking for the risotto to be creamy but not runny. When the rice is almost but not quite tender, stir in the asparagus and cook for 5 minutes more, adding more stock if needed. At this point, the risotto should be tender and creamy, and the asparagus should be tender but not mushy.
- 6. Remove the saucepan or Dutch oven from the heat. Add the Parmesan and mint and use a wooden spoon to beat the risotto to ensure everything is well combined. Taste and, if desired, season with salt and/or pepper to taste. If you’d like the risotto to become a little less liquidy, cover and let it rest for a few minutes. Otherwise ladle it into serving dishes and prepare to accept compliments.
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Asparagus Risotto Recipe © 2017 Flora Shedden. Photo © 2017 Laura Edwards. All rights reserved.
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