Asparagus signals spring
While asparagus are available year round, the best quality and priced asparagus are harvested in the spring. April is the peak of the asparagus season.
Roasting makes asparagus delicious
Even if you are not a fan of steamed or boiled asparagus, chances are you will like them roasted. Roasting mellows out asparagus and gets rid of any bitterness. Plus roasting asparagus is so darn easy.
Use thick asparagus for roasting as they hold up better in the oven.
Roasted asparagus risotto
For this recipe I roast the asparagus and then cut off the tips to reserve for garnishing the finished risotto. I puree the stems and stir the puree into the chicken broth used to make the risotto. The puree turns the rice a delicate green.
How to make risotto
See my post on how to make risotto and you will no longer need to follow risotto recipes. Once you have the risotto method down, you can easily improvise.
I use a Le Creuset dutch oven to make my risotto. A heavy bottomed pan is important to keep the heat even.
More risotto recipes
- Chicken, artichoke, lemon and rosemary risotto
- Mushroom risotto
- Wild mushroom risotto casserole (a no-stir risotto recipe for a crowd)
Yield 2 -3 servings
Asparagus is the vegetable I most closely associate with spring. Roasting the asparagus in this risotto creates a mellow, comforting dish.
- 1 pound asparagus, ends trimmed
- 4 T olive oil, divided
- Kosher salt
- Fresh ground pepper
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 3 T butter, divided
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio or Carnoroli rice
- 1/4 cup white wine
- Zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese, plus shaved pieces for garnish
- 1 - 2 T butter, optional
- Heat oven to 400 degrees. Put the asparagus on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus. Remove from the oven after 7 minutes and turn. Asparagus is done when they are crisp, but tender. Let cool and cut off 1 1/2 - 2" tips of the asparagus and set aside. Put the asparagus stems in a food processor or blender with a splash of chicken broth and puree.
- Put the remaining chicken stock in a pan and heat it up until it almost boiling. Turn down the heat to a low simmer and stir in the asparagus puree.
- In a heavy-bottomed pot, such as a dutch oven, melt 1 T of butter and stir in 2 T olive oil, over medium heat. Add the shallots, and saute for 3-4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another minute.
- Stir in the rice, coating every grain in the oil. Cook on medium heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring. You are ready to add the liquids when the rice becomes translucent around the edges and has a solid white core in the center of each grain.
- Add the wine and stir until it is fully absorbed. Now begin adding the chicken and asparagus broth about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir after each broth addition until the rice absorbs the stock, and then add another ladle of stock. Continue this process for about 20 minutes, stirring after each addition of liquid. Rice is done when the grain is chewy, but firm. When the rice is almost done, add lemon zest and lemon juice to taste. Stir and remove from the heat. Vigorously stir in 2 T of butter (optional) and the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper.
- Serve in individual serving bowls and garnish risotto with asparagus spears, and shavings of parmigiano reggiano.
THIS SERVES WELL WITH