It has been 3 years (since last week) that my girlfriend and I have been together. In accordance, I wanted to make her a special dinner, complete with white wine and a little bit of fun. One of the dishes I prepared (and that came out the best) was Asparagus Risotto.
During the cooking process the sauce turns into a creamy, not-too-rich-but-just-rich-enough flavor that had us coming back for more and more. I made so much of it too, that it's lasted us three whole meals.
The only change I am going to make to it next time is to eliminate the cheese since it didn't add much flavor or texture, and besides, I'm not a huge cheese fan anyway. It was delicious, though, and I encourage everyone to try this out. I've also included several substitutions if you don't have all the ingredients on hand. Enjoy!
4 cups chicken broth (I used 2 bouillon cubes in 4 cups of water)
1 bunch of asparagus
3 Tablespoons of butter, divided
1 medium onion, chopped
1½ cups uncooked rice
1½ cups dry white wine (or 1 tablespoon vinegar + 1 tablespoon rum (optional) + 1 tablespoon lemon juice + water to equal 1 1/2 cups)
Zest of one lemon (I used 1 teaspoon lemon juice)
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese
Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Trim ends of asparagus, and cut into 1½” pieces. Toss asparagus into simmering chicken broth for about 3 minutes. Remove asparagus to a bowl; reduce heat under broth to med-low.
In another large saucepan, melt only 2 Tablespoons of butter. Cook the chopped onion in butter until soft. Add rice and stir to coat with butter (about 2 minutes) until fragrant and slightly translucent.
Add wine (or vinegar water mixture) to rice, and cook until almost all liquid is evaporated. Add a small ladle (about ½ cup) of warm broth to rice, stirring until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth and stirring until it’s absorbed and until a creamy sauce is formed in rice. This should take about 20 minutes and you should have about 1 cup of broth left over. Add remaining broth, 1/3 cup at a time, until absorbed.
Taste rice to check if it's cooked. If almost done, stir in remaining 1 Tablespoon of butter and lemon zest (if not done, add 1/3 to ½ cup water and continue stirring and cooking for about 3 minutes). Add parmesan cheese and asparagus, heat 1-2 minutes. If risotto is too thick, add a couple Tablespoons of water. Serve w/ additional parmesan cheese if desired.
Makes 4 servings.
We paired this with our Seasoned Baked Salmon that night. And another night we paired it with our Grilled Hot Turkey Patties topped with grilled onions. Both nights the Chenin Blanc we had was perfect with it!
Recipe (minus my awesome tweaks) courtesy of Family Circle.