Thursday, May 3, 2007

risotto with asparagus

Welcome back! We were going to start our return with a riff on ravioli, but first a little sidetrack, following down the risotto path again.

It is late spring, and asparagus is in season. Risotto with asparagus has always been one of our favorites: the flavors meld so well together. Here is a variation courtesy of Mark Bittman and Mario Batali. We adapted this recipe from them.

Our basic asparagus risotto favorite, along with detailed instructions on making risotto, can be found at

The difference here is that the risotto contains asparagus tips, and also is finished with an asparagus puree.

  • two cups arborio rice
  • one and one half pound fresh, thin green asparagus
  • six cups chicken stock
  • three tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • one small onion, diced
  • one-half cup dry white wine
  • salt and pepper
  • three tablespoons butter
  • one-half cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
Cut off the lower stems of the asparagus. Peel them. Cutt off the tips. Cut the remaining asparagus in half-inch pieces.

In a pot of boiling water, put half the asparagus pieces (not the tips). Cook about five minutes until tender. Drain and run the pieces under cold water. Put the cooked asparagus in a blender with a tablespoon of water and puree until smooth. Set aside.

Bring the stock to a simmer in a pan next to the risotto pan. In a thick-bottomed pan, the risotto pan, over a medium-high heat: add the olive oil and then the onion. Cook until soft.

Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated with oil. Add the white wine. Cook and stir until it is absorbed by the rice, about two minutes. Add a teaspoon of salt and some freshly ground pepper.
Now add the hot stock, ladle by ladle, only adding another ladle when the previous ladle of liquid
has been absorbed, stirring almost all of the time.

After about fifteen minutes, add the uncooked asparagus pieces and the asparagus tips. Stir. Continue adding ladles of stock until the rice is properly done: twenty minutes or so. Determine proper doneness by tasting regularly. The rice should be a touch al dente, tender with a bit of crunch: a little creaminess.

When it is done, stir in the asparagus puree. Remove from heat. Add parmesan and stir. Taste for salt and pepper. Add the three tablespoons of butter and stir again.

Let it sit, covered, for a minute or two. It should be fairly creamy. Serve immediately on warmed paltter.

No comments: