Some may consider this a side dish, but when I have risotto I want for nothing else!
- 1 pound asparagus
- 3 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon butter
- 1/2 cup chopped shallots
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup water)
- About 3 1/2 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option), can substitute some of the asparagus cooking water for stock*
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper
- Prepare the asparagus by breaking off discarding the tough ends (about the last inch of the spear). Cut into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces (tips longer, base shorter). If your asparagus are especially large, cut into even smaller (bite-size) pieces. Bring a saucepan with a quart of water to a boil. Blanch the asparagus pieces for 2 minutes. At the end of two minutes, use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus pieces to an ice water bath to shock the asparagus into a vibrant green color and to stop the cooking. Drain from the ice water bath and set aside.
- In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a few minutes until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.
- While the shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
- Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Note the stock amount given is approximate. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and you find yourself without, just use water or the cooking water from the asparagus.
- Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese, the remaining 1 teaspoon butter, and the asparagus. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.