This asparagus risotto is an easy version of traditional risotto recipes. It doesn’t require you to stand over it, constantly stirring, for a long time.
It is still delicious. I am all for doing what makes it easy on the cook. (Within reason. I don’t use processed foods.)
If asparagus is not available, or not your favorite vegetable, feel free to substitute peas because they will go well with the other flavors in this Italian risotto too.
And it’s vegetarian! Just use vegetable stock instead of the chicken stock if you want it to be a vegetarian risotto.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice, or other short-grained Italian style rice
- 4 cups chicken stock, or vegetable stock
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 pound asparagus
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon rind, grated
- 1/2 cup Parmesan, or Asiago cheese, grated
- In a large heavy saucepan, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook the garlic, onion, pepper and salt, stirring, until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Stir in the rice, 3 1/2 cups of the stock and the vinegar. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cover and simmer over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Meanwhile, cut the dryer ends from the asparagus and cut the stems diagonally into 1" pieces. Add to the risotto pan along with the lemon rind.
- Cook, covered, for 10 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed, the asparagus is tender but a bit crisp and the rice is slightly firm to the bite. Stir in the remaining stock and the cheese and combine until the mixture is nice and creamy.
- Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings.
Variations in Asparagus Risotto:
- Substitute 2 cups of fresh or frozen peas for the asparagus.
- For an asparagus and mushroom risotto, add 2 cups sliced mushrooms. Cook the mushrooms with the garlic and onions, then add the asparagus later as in the original recipe. Cook the mushrooms for 4 minutes or until they are browned and the moisture from the mushrooms has evaporated.
You may want to leave out the salt or cut down on the amount if you are using a can or carton of stock. They can tend to be saltier than one you would make yourself. Remember to taste the risotto before serving it to adjust the seasonings to your liking.
Arborio rice is the best to use for this recipe if you can get it. It is a short grained Italian rice that becomes nice and creamy as it releases it starch when it cooks. It makes perfect risotto.
If you want to move this from a vegetable risotto to a vegan recipe, just leave out the cheese. That’s something I just love about cooking – you can often adjust recipes to suit your own taste or dietary needs. Just play with it.
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