asparagus risoto

prep time:  tbd
cook time: 45 minutes
servings:  3 - 4

1 pound asparagus - peeled, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces, tips reserved
4 - 6 cups chicken
2 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
1/3 medium red onion - diced
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

1.  bring a pot of water to a boil.  add half the asparagus stalks and cook until quite soft, at least 5 minutes.  rinse quickly under cold water.  put cooked asparagus in a blender or food processor and add just enough water to allow machine to puree until smooth.  set aside.

2.  put stock in a medium saucepan over low heat.  put oil and 1 tablespoon butter in a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat.  when it is hot, add onion, stirring occasionally until it softens, 3 - 5 minutes.

3.  add rice and cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy, about 2 - 3 minutes.  add white wine, stir, and let liquid bubble away.  add a large pinch of salt.  add warmed stock, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring occasionally.  each time stock has just about evaporated, add more.

4.  after about 15 minutes, add remaining asparagus pieces and tips, continuing to add stock when necessary.  in 5 minutes, begin tasting rice.  you want it to be tender, but with a bit of a crunch; it could take as long as 30 minutes total to reach this stage.  when it does, stir in 1/2 cup asparagus puree.  remove skillet from heat, add remaining butter and stir briskly.  add parmesan and stir briskly, then taste and adjust seasoning.  risotto should be slightly soupy.  serve.

- new york times, may 2007

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