In South America we eat rice with almost every meal, typical lunches include arroz (rice) with something: pollo or chicken, carne or meat, pescado or fish, camarones or shrimp or even just a huevo frito or fried egg. Rice was always something very basic, nothing fancy, so when I heard of something called risotto it sounded very exotic and sophisticated; all of sudden rice was no longer something plain, you could make it “fancy”, at first I was a little bit afraid of even trying to cook risotto -especially after watching all these Italian movies that depict making risotto as some sort of secret heart surgery. So, it took me a while to talk myself into making it at home but finally I bought some Arborio rice at Trader Joe’s and just made a basic risotto following the instructions on the back of the box and it came out really good. After that I felt confident enough to get creative and make different types of risotto, adding meat or seafood or vegetables; basically it is an easy dish to make, very versatile and a good one to impress people (especially if they’ve been traumatized by those Italian movies).
This asparagus risotto is a great way to enjoy all that yummy asparagus that is in season right now. I typically use chicken broth but you can also use vegetable broth if you want to keep it a vegetarian dish. My Italian friend Rossana says that she always adds a cube of chicken bouillon at the end (when you add the cream) and that it gives the risotto even more flavor. I love to add a drizzle of truffle oil when serving it, it gives it a nice finish; you can also use olive oil to drizzle if you don’t have truffle oil. Finally, risotto is best when it is eaten as soon as it is made. Risotto can be served as an appetizer in small portions or also as a main dish in larger portions.
1 large bunch of asparagus, washed and trimmed
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice
1 tbs butter
1 cup finely chopped white onion, about ½ onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
¾ white wine
4 cups broth
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup grated parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
Olive oil or white truffle oil to drizzle
Additional grated parmesan to serve
- Place the asparagus in boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes
- Drain and place in ice water to stop cooking and to help lock in the bright green color
- Cut the asparagus into small pieces, save the tips separately.
- Puree the asparagus pieces with ½ cup of water and strain the puree.
- Warm the broth in a medium sized pan, keep it simmering as it needs to be warm when it is added to the rice.
- In a pan heat the butter, then sauté the onions and garlic until soft.
- Add the Arborio rice and stir until coated with butter.
- Stir in the wine, cook until the wine is reduced.
- Add 1 cup of the warm broth, stir regularly and cook until the broth has reduced.
- Add another cup of broth and continue the same process until all the broth is used and the rice starts to get tender, about 20-25 minutes.
- Add the asparagus puree and the cream, stir well and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
- Add grated parmesan and asparagus tips, stir well.
- Serve sprinkled with additional parmesan cheese and drizzled with the olive oil or white truffle oil.
Step by step preparation photos for asparagus risotto