When it’s asparagus season it is hard to choose which recipe to make!
I find that the recipe I turn to the most is risotto di asparagi. This to me is spring! When the weather starts to get nicer here in Italy, the first time I find asparagus at the local market, I make asparagus risotto for my family.
If the word ‘risotto’ scares you because you think – I don’t know how to make risotto – or – that sounds too time consuming – or – that’s a heavy dish. I’m here to prove those thoughts wrong! Asparagus risotto is a relatively simple recipe and one that, in my opinion, emphasising the natural brilliance of asparagus while offering a healthy meal.
This spring vegetable makes every dish feel light and healthy!
350g Rice (Carnaroli rice)
1 litre Vegetable broth
1 celery stalk
1/2 cup White Wine
2 teaspoons Olive Oil
80g of grated parmesan cheese
Salt & Pepper
Separate the stems from the tips of the 500 gr of asparagus, set the asparagus tips aside, peel and then boil the stems in a pot of boiling water for about 5 minutes. Drain but keep the water. Then cool the asparagus with running water and slice the stems into small pieces, set aside to add into the rice later. The tips, instead, keep until the end of the rice cooking.
Now add 1/2 l of asparagus cooking water (you previously saved) with 1 l of vegetable stock and boil. Peel the onion and chop it finely, with carrot and celery then brown it all with 30 gr of butter for about 3 minutes in a large non stick skillet. Add in 350 gr of Carnaroli rice for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Turn the heat on high and add in the white wine, keep heat on high until the wine starts to evaporate.
Once wine evaporates, add in a ladle of broth (you can keep broth heated in a pot next to the skillet where rice is being cooked) and stir while lowering the heat to a low flame. Always be sure that the rice is evenly covered with broth, the rice will cook in the broth. Add in the chopped asparagus stems after rice cooks in broth for about 5 minutes and continue cooking the risotto adding broth (one ladle at a time), for about 18 minutes until rice is completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper. In a separate small skillet, cook in olive oil the asparagus tips until a little brown.
Remove from heat and whisk in butter and 2 tablespoons of grated parmesan cheese and mix with wooden spoon until creamy. Serve hot with placing asparagus tips on top.