Asparagus Risotto

Is there anything better than a rich, creamy risotto? Jeanette Terry is sharing her method for the perfect risotto as well as some tasty flavor combos to add in!

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Risotto is one of those soul comforting dishes. With a little practice, it's an easy go to recipe. It's versatile enough to use just about any vegetable or even leftovers I have on hand. And that is pretty much a dinner trifecta. This recipe is more of a method than an exact list of ingredients, though I will give a few guidelines.

Rice

First, you will need arborio rice. It's a medium grain rice that is high in starch giving risotto its characteristic creamy texture. Figure about 1/2 cup dry per serving, which is a generous entree portion size. Use about half that if making this as a side dish.

Liquid

Your liquid to rice ratio will be approximately 4:1. So for each cup of dry rice, heat 4 cups of chicken stock or vegetable stock in a separate pot. Bring it to a boil and turn down to a simmer while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

Preparation

Traditional: In a large saute pan, heat 1 TBS butter and 1 TBS olive oil over medium heat. Dice a small onion (approx. 1/2 cup), add to pan, season with a pinch of salt, and cook for 5 minutes or until translucent. Next add the rice and cook for 1-2 minutes, but do not brown it. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 cup white wine and stir until it's almost absorbed. Once the wine is absorbed, start adding your warm stock about 1/2 cup at a time stirring until it's fully absorbed. Add your liquid a little at a time, stir, stir, stir, wait for it to absorb, and repeat. It can take up to 30 minutes. Finish with a few pats of butter and a big handful or two of parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper as needed.

Add-Ins

At this point, you can add just about anything you like. For things like fresh herbs, spinach, pesto, or quick-cooking items like peas or crabmeat, just add at the end and let it wilt/cook for 2 to 3 minutes while the last of the liquid is being absorbed. Asparagus does well when blanched and shocked to retain the bright green color. Sauté mushrooms, shrimp, or chicken in a separate pan and fold in at the end. Risotto is also a great way to use up leftover meat or vegetables from a previous meal. If they're precooked just throw them in at the end and voila.

Here are a few flavor ideas to get you started:

  • Asparagus and Mushroom
  • Basil Pesto and Peas
  • Spinach, Shrimp and Roasted Red Peppers
  • Parmesan, Leek, and Fresh Thyme
  • Butternut Squash, Bacon, and Sage

You can find Jeanette Terry online at wildabandonkitchen.com or @wildabandonkitchen