26 May 2010
Classic asparagus risotto made with arborio rice, onions, stock, Parmesan cheese and fresh asparagus.
The season for asparagus always seems too short. In a blink of an eye it’s gone and you have to wait a whole year to enjoy these tasty shoots again. So when I was in Provence this past weekend I took advantage of the Uzes Market.
There were many different varieties of asparagus to choose from – white, green, purple tipped, but for this recipe I prefered the green. What is great about risotto is that it doesn’t over power the asparagus, but compliments it. This is quintessential Italian cooking, which is all about tasting each ingredient.
See link ‘asparagus risotto‘ below for recipe:
ERIKA ALLISTON: ASPARAGUS RISOTTO RECIPE
- Use the best quality short grain rice = Carnaroli. Alternatively you can use Aborio rice which may be easier to find.
- Don’t wash the rice, or you will loose the starch which helps make the risotto creamy
- Use the best quality Parmesan ”aged Parmigiano-Reggiano” if possible
- Watch the rice while cooking and stir constantly
- Do not omit the final ’mantecare’ stage – this is the last traditional step of adding butter & Parmesan to the finished risotto, giving it that deliciously rich & creamy texture.
- Heat your bowls & serve immediately; when the risotto cools it thickens and looses its creamy quality.
- 350g Carnaroli rice
- 2 small white onions
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter for onions + 5 tbls for montecare
- 60 mL white wine
- 1L vegetable stock
- 100g grated parmesan
- 350g green asparagus pieces
- Wash & dry asparagus
- Remove the bottom woody ends, then peel the remaining bottom
- Cut into 2cm (1 inch) pieces. Separate the tips for the rest of the asparagus – they will be added last as cook fastest
- Stock: first make the stock / broth = boiling the water in a kettle then add the bouillon cube.
- Onions: finely chop. In a large skillet (frying pan) saute over medium heat with 3 tablespoons of butter, until onions are softens and translucent.
- Rice: add to onions and mix well. Stir while cooking for two minutes.
- Wine: add to rice/onions. Stir, allowing the wine to be absorbed by the rice.
- Using a ladle, add 1 to 2 ladle’s full of hot stock to the rice. Stir slowly & consistently until it has been absorbed. Keep adding ladles of stock to the rice all the while stirring.
- Asparagus: When 3/4 of the stock has been used, add the asparagus (except the tips) and then finish adding the stock. Taste the rice as you cook, it is ready when it has a firm texture but not crunchy. If you prefer it a little softer you can always add a little more stock. Add asparagus tips now.
- Mantecare: Reduce heat to low & stir in 5 tablespoons of butter, grated Parmesan & pepper to taste. Remove from the heat. The risotto should be rich, creamy & fragrant.
- Serve immediately in hot bowls