Every once and a while my family adds a recipe to our regulars, tries something out and it sticks. Asparagus Risotto was one of those sticky recipes. We really only use to make risotto with meat sauce, peas and a lot of cheese and bake it off until the crust was golden brown (ok that’s a recipe I need to add on here). Then, one spring, the asparagus patch in the backyard exploded with vegetables and we had to find a new use for it.
This risotto was the result and it stuck around in our family for a long time. I hadn’t had it in a few years, so I used the blog as the excuse to bring out an old favourite. I know most fancy risotto recipes use wine to deglaze, but it works just as well without having to open a fresh bottle.
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onions
1 cup arborio rice
About 4 cups chicken stock
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1 pound of asparagus, clean, chopped into one inch pieces and blanched
Bring the stock to a simmer on the stove. In another heavy saucepan or pot, melt the butter. Add oil and onions. Cook the onions until soft and transparent. Once cooked through, add the arborio rice and coat in the butter and oil. Allow the rice to toast, two to three minutes. Add in a ladle of hot stock to deglaze the pan. Once the liquid is almost absorbed, add another 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice. Stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup or ladle increments.
Continue cooking and stirring the rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time. The risotto is ready when the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes. Add the asparagus in the last 5 minutes of cooking. You may or may not use all of the stock, the trick is to keep tasting the rice and making sure that is not longer opaque. You also want to make sure the risotto is loose in the sauce, not thick and mushy.
Once cooked, turn off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese. Serve piping hot and enjoy!