I have been wanting to make risotto for a long time. I don't know why I never do. Well that's not entirely true. I did once. I made butternut squash risotto and I wasn't all that enthused with it. I don't remember why because I love butternut squash. I guess I just didn't make it right. Well the same cannot be said of the Asparagus Risotto I made recently. I have to say it was probably one of the best things I have made in quite some time. I used a combination of recipes. I looked at several and they had elements I liked, but none had put all the elements I liked together, so I did it myself!
I started out with some beautiful fresh asparagus. It's still available at a pretty decent price.
I always prefer my vegetables roasted so that's what I did with the asparagus. All you do is break or cut it into bite sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and put in a pan to roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 20-30 minutes. I should be browned but not overly so. While it's roasting, heat 5 cups of chicken stock in a pan (I use Kitchen Basics). Then, in a good heavy pot place 2 Tablespoons of butter and 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil in the bottom. Add one small onion, chopped. As you may already know, I generally use whatever sweet onions are available. It was large so I used about a third of the onion.
Once the onion has sweated a little, add 1 1/2 cups of Arborio rice. Now, if you have never made risotto make sure you have the correct rice. It must be a short grain rice like Arborio. Stir the rice with the onions and butter/oil mixture for a couple minutes. Generally most would add salt and pepper after each additional ingredient is added but since I'm using a boxed chicken stock for this, I am waiting to see if it will need additional salt.
Once the rice is well coated, add 2/3 cup of white wine. Stir until most of the wine is cooked in. Now it's time to start adding the stock. You do not need to keep the heat on under the pot with the stock, but it should be warm. A ladle full at a time, add the stock to the rice and stir until each ladle full is completely absorbed. This is kind of tedious but so well worth it! Don't leave the pot. It needs to be stirred often. Keep doing this, one ladle at a time until all the stock is gone. When you get close to the end, add the roasted asparagus to the pot.
You will be amazed at how this simple pot of rice turns into risotto! Before serving, stir in 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Check and see if it needs any more salt and add some pepper. Enjoy!