May I just take a moment and express my deep appreciation for risotto? And tender-crisp spring asparagus? A week like we've had triggers a need for comfort food- but not the heavy, spice laced comfort food of winter.
Something fresh and light and creamy.
Asparagus risotto to the rescue.
Karina's Asparagus Leek Risotto Recipe
Recipe posted April 2009.
My risotto is a vegan risotto. No butter. No cheese. If you aren't dairy/casein free like I am, you could add grated Parmesan at the end of cooking. But honestly? I did not miss the cheese. I loved the fresh creamy taste of this vegan risotto. Clean and subtle. It tasted like Spring.
A bundle of thin asparagus- about 16 to 20 spears
4 cups fresh hot water or very light broth
2-3 teaspoons olive oil
2 inches or so of a leek, diced fine
1 cup raw organic Arborio rice
1/2 cup white wine
Sea salt, to taste
2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
Wash and slice the asparagus, cutting on the diagonal about 3 inches down from the tip (you don't want your asparagus too long). Pour a scant amount of water into a skillet and quickly blanch the asparagus- when it turns bright green, remove it from the pan, and rinse with very cold water to keep it from cooking longer. You don't want soggy asparagus. Set aside.
To make the risotto:
Heat the water or light broth in a separate sauce pan, and keep it warm.
In a heavy medium saucepan, heat the olive oil on medium heat, and sauté the diced leek for a minute. Add the uncooked Arborio rice and stir well, until the rice is coated. Stir and cook for about 3-5 minutes. Add the white wine and stir until most of the wine is cooked off.
Pour in 1 cup of the hot water or broth and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat and simmer uncovered, stirring frequently for 7-8 minutes.
When most of the liquid is absorbed, add the remaining cups of hot water or broth 1 cup at a time, stirring and simmering until each cup of liquid is absorbed before adding the next one. (The whole process should take about 20-25 minutes; 22 minutes is my goal for al dente; if you cook risotto too long or with too much liquid it may get gummy.)
When the final cup of liquid is absorbed gently add in the blanched asparagus, cover and set aside for a few moments before serving. Risotto likes to rest a bit.
Warm up four serving bowls. Spoon the risotto into the bowls, and garnish with some fresh chopped Italian parsley.
Some cooks like to toss in the asparagus near the end of cooking the risotto, but I prefer my asparagus a bit more crisp-tender. If you like yours softer, add it in near the end of the cooking and stirring phase.
Add a squeeze of fresh lemon juice near the end to add some citrus. Change out the chopped Italian parsley for fresh mint, if you like.
Spoon leftovers into a gratin dish and reheat for twenty minutes. We baked our leftovers drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, with pieces of wild salmon added.
More spring risotto recipe inspiration from fellow food bloggers:
Asparagus Risotto from Cooking with Amy
Spring Risotto with Lemon, Asparagus and Peas from Pink of Perfection
Baked Asparagus Risotto- No Stirring from Chez Lou Lou
Asparagus Lemon and Feta Risotto from Eat Like a Girl
Asparagus Risotto from Simply Recipes
Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto from Baking Bites
Recipe Source: glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com
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