When I went home this Christmas my brother told me he took his daughter to a fancy restaurant for a nice dinner. She ordered grilled cheese (hey, she’s eight) and her dad ordered risotto because she wanted to try it.
Neither of them were overly impressed by risotto, which sort of bummed me out. I love risotto. While I can’t precisely remember why they didn’t enjoy the risotto, it sparked a hunger for some in me. Finally, I couldn’t put off the craving any longer when I saw tender asparagus stalks on sale at the grocery store.
I can’t guarantee my brother and niece would love my version, but I’d like to think they would. It was flavorful, tender and decadent. Give it a try when you’re craving some comfort food and have time to stand over the stove for 30 minutes.
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Adapted from Two Peas and Their Pod
- 10 asparagus spears, ends cut off
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 6 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
- Zest of 1 lemon
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 softly fried or poached eggs (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Place asparagus spears on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast for 15-20 minutes, turning once. Set aside.
- Heat broth in a medium sauce pan. Simmer on low while you make risotto.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, melt the butter and saute the onion for about 5 minutes. Add garlic and saute for another 30 seconds.
- Stir in rice until coated with butter. Toast for one minute while continuing to stir so rice doesn’t burn.
- Add the white wine and cook for about 2 minutes.
- Add one cup of broth to the rice and stir with a wooden spoon until the broth is absorbed.
- Continue to add the broth, one cup at a time. Keep stirring the risotto. When the mixture starts to dry out, add more broth until the rice is cooked, this will take about 30 minutes.
- Remove pan from the heat. Stir in lemon juice, lemon zest and parmesan cheese.
- Cut the asparagus into bite size pieces and stir into the risotto.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Top with a fried or poached egg (optional) and serve warm.
- This can quickly get too salty if you’re not careful. I would recommend using low-sodium broth. Also, wait to add salt until after you’ve tasted it. Mine did not need any additional salt, just a healthy grinding of pepper.