Asparagus Risotto a great way to cook this delicious Spring vegetable. Nothing is wasted. As risottos are best made with white arborio rice, they can be really soothing to eat during chemo, or if you’re on a bland diet, especially if you leave out the butter in step 5. Risotto will thicken up if left around too long before serving. Stirring in a ladleful of warm stock will bring it back a more creamy consistency. If you have a pressure cooker, check out Ann’s Tips for a super quick version of this recipe.
1. Put the asparagus, reserving the tips for later, shallot and water or stock into a small saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover and turn the heat down to simmer. Cook for 20-30 minutes.
2. Plunge the asparagus tips in the stock or water just until they turn bright green, about 1-2 minutes, then fish them out with a sieve. Set aside for garnish, remove the stock from heat and keep warm.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a wide saucepan (or pressure cooker if using, see Ann’s Tips). Add onions and cook stirring until it turns transparent. Do not let it brown. Add the parsley and cook for 1 minute, then add the rice. Stir continuously until you hear the rice “clicking”. Add the white wine, stirring continuously until it evaporates.
4. Add 1 ladleful of stock to the rice, and cook stirring until it has been absorbed. Continue adding the stock, 1 ladleful at a time, reserving the last ladleful, and stirring until the rice is al dente and creamy looking, about 15 to 20 minutes. About halfway through cooking, add the asparagus.
5. Turn the heat down to medium-low, and beat in in the Parmesan cheese and butter, if using, and the last ladleful of stock. Take off the heat, cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes. Serve topped with the asparagus tips and extra grated Parmesan cheese.
Ann's Tips and Tricks
Pressure cooker method from Step 4: Stir in 4 cups of the stock and the sliced asparagus stems to the rice. Close the pressure cooker, turn the heat down and cook for 6 minutes. Run cold water over the lid to quickly release the pressure and stop the cooking. Remove the lid. Check the rice for doneness – it should be al dente. Continue onto Step 5.
Trimming asparagus is a pretty basic tip, but helpful to those new to using asparagus. Want to see how it’s done? Check out our video or read on. The woody root ends should not be eaten and need to be snapped off before cooking. Hold the asparagus on either end and bend the spear until it breaks. It will break right where the inedible part ends and the yummy juicy asparagus starts. Or for a less fun and maybe less satisfying way, simply cut the woody ends off — about ½ to 1-inch.
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