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By: Chef Laura Bonicelli

Risotto with Fresh Asparagus is a perfect light supper. I make this dish in the early spring when the asparagus is young and tenderCheck your favorite Farmers Market!

Fresh Asparagus Tips

Risotto with Asparagus

One of my favorite farmers market vendors says, “the best way to cook asparagus is – don’t!” I get that. It’s the reason I wrote Risotto with Fresh Asparagus with the vegetables added at the end. Over the years, I’ve gotten down to the 15-second blanch. Even my Creamy Asparagus Soup recipe has slightly blanched tips as a garnish. Blanching takes a bit of the rawness away – but it’s about bringing up the color. Of course, I cook some of the asparagus entirely in the soup base for the Asparagus Soup. But, other than when I plan on pureéing asparagus, I prefer it barely cooked.

Fresh Asparagus Cut up
Fresh Asparagus mirepoix

 

I am using a lot of celery here. It has a noticeable presence in the flavor of the rice. Make sure you take your time and sweat the vegetables. You don’t want to brown them; gently cook them until you’re ready to add the rice.

About the Recipe

 

You can’t get away with omitting the wine. So, don’t even try it. That being said, if you don’t want to use wine, use half the amount of a good quality white vinegar and cook it off. The wine adds depth to the flavor of the risotto but also releases the starch from the outside of each rice kernel. Remember that each step is essential in making risotto. It’s not a complicated process, but it is a process.

I add in the asparagus when the risotto is nearly done. The heat of the rice and the final addition of stock is enough to cook the asparagus barely. The beautiful green color and snap of the vegetable stay entirely. Undercooking asparagus is the best option.

 

 

 

Of course, I finish the dish with cheese. That’s traditional – not just me. Typically, I garnish this with fresh ricotta cheese. Occasionally though, I’ll drizzle a little cream in at this point or 1/2 cup of fresh ricotta.

If I decide to serve a salad, I love serving this risotto alongside my Spring Pea Ricotta Salad.

 

I hope you love my Risotto with Asparagus recipe! Buon Appetito!

 

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Asparagus Risotto with Wine
Buon Appetito!
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Step by Step Instructions

Risotto with Fresh Asparagus

Risotto with Asparagus

chef Laura Bonicelli
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Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 4 cups chicken or vegetable stock

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  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1 large onion or white and light green parts of a leek finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 stalks celery with leaves finely chopped

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  • 2 cups arborio or carnarelli rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper

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  • 1 bunch asparagus -- woody ends removed; some chopped; some spears woody ends removed; some chopped; some spears
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup Asiago Cheese grated

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  • 1/2 cup fresh ricotta
  • grated Asiago

Instructions
 

  • Heat the stock in a saucepan.
  • Put olive oil and butter into a separate pan. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, and cook very slowly for about 15 minutes. Do not brown - you just want them to be soft. Turn up the heat and add the rice.
  • Fry the rice, constantly stirring, for about a minute. It will get a translucent look to it and become coated with oil. Add the wine all at once. Keep stirring until the alcohol evaporates.
    Asparagus Risotto with Wine
  • When the wine has cooked out of the rice, add a ladle full of stock to the rice and lightly season with salt and pepper. Turn heat down to a simmer. Cook the stock down, stirring often to work the starch out of the rice. Keep adding stock and cooking down in this manner.
  • When rice is 3/4 of the way cooked, add your chopped asparagus and spears; continue adding stock and cooking down until rice is al dente and asparagus cooks, but is still firm.
  • Stir in butter and cheese. Taste and adjust seasonings.
  • Serve as soon as possible. Garnish with fresh ricotta and grated Asiago.

Notes

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"Chef Laura Bonicelli"
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