When I made this it made me think of my daughter. If you’ve ever visited Leah’s blog (which is sporting a cool new logo!) you would know that she luva, luva risotto, adores lemon and goes gaga for asparagus. Let’s not forget about the wine, she loves that too. I have to say that the apple does not fall far from the tree!
Every now and then my grocery store gets *gasp* Meyer Lemons. The last time I scored some I made lemon curd. That conquered, I wanted to do something else. A little rooting around and I came across this recipe, as mentioned before, it had all the buzz ingredients for me (and Leah).
2 cups asparagus, washed, tough ends removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 T. butter
1 T. olive oil
1/2 cup minced shallots
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
Zest of one Meyer lemon (or one regular lemon)
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 T. Meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
1 T. flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded or grated
2 T. mascarpone cheese (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Let’s tackle the asparagus. To prep the asparagus start off by gently breaking the end of one piece of asparagus. Use that piece as a guide and cut the rest of the bunch in approximately the same place.
Cut the asparagus into pieces. At this point you could boil the asparagus but I like these nifty steam bags. Follow the instructions on the bag for cooking times.
When the asparagus is done through some ice in the bag and add cold water to stop the cooking the process.
Know what I just did?
1. Saved water by not boiling the asparagus.
2. Didn’t dirty a pan to cook it in.
3. Saved water by not having to wash the pan.
4. Didn’t dirty a bowl to stop the cooking process.
5. Saved water by not having to wash the bowl.
Now that I did my part to save the world let’s heat up the stock in a medium sauce pan. Do not boil but keep in warm. This is very important boys and girls.
A little prep work to make things go smoothly later.
Zest you lemon, dice the shallots.
Heat up a dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pan. Over medium heat add the oil and butter.
Once the butter is melted add the shallots and cook for 1 minute. Then add the rice.
And the lemon zest.
Add the wine, good thing it only takes a cup…leaves plenty for me! Cook stirring frequently, until the wine is absorb. About 3 minutes should do it.
Then in slow increments start adding the warm stock one cup at a time. Make sure you stir the rice after adding each cup and ensure that all the liquid is absorbed before adding the next cup.
You’ll be hanging out at the stove for 20 – 25 minutes. Don’t worry there is plenty of wine left to drink.
Once all the liquid is absorbed and the rice is al dente. Juice the lemon and add it to the rice.
Chop some parsley and add.
Now for the super duper creamy part. Add the mascarpone cheese. Stir until it is well blended.
Add some salt and pepper, however much suits you. Then add the Parmesan. I went a bit lazy and bought some of this stuff.
Lastly, add the asparagus. Gently mix and serve it up.
Now tell me that doesn’t look good!
I wish you could taste how creamy and delightful the risotto is. It has creamy rice, crisp asparagus, tangy lemon and did I mention it was creamy and delicious?
Risotto takes a little work but it is oh so worth it.
The original recipe came from here.
- 2 cups asparagus, washed, tough ends removed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 T. butter
- 1 T. olive oil
- 1/2 cup minced shallots
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- Zest of one meyer lemon (or one regular lemon)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 6 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- 2 T. meyer lemon juice (or regular lemon juice)
- 1 T. flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely shredded or grated
- 2 T. mascarpone cheese (optional)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Optional garnish: thin strips of lemon zest and/or extra Parmesan cheese
- Fill a large skillet or a small saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Add the asparagus pieces and cook for 2 minutes. While the asparagus cooks, prepare an ice bath (a large bowl of cold water and ice.) Remove the cooked asparagus to the ice bath to quickly stop the cooking. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, bring the chicken or vegetable stock to a simmer. Keep hot, but do not allow it to boil. In a large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots. Cook for 1 minute. Add the rice and lemon zest. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until absorbed.
- Begin adding the hot stock in small increments, waiting for each addition of stock to be almost completely absorbed before adding more. (Contrary to popular belief, you do not have to stir risotto constantly. You just need to stir it after each addition of stock and then occasionally between additions. Don’t go too far away, but don’t be afraid to leave the stove. Last night I unloaded the dishwasher while making my risotto, staying close enough to stir the risotto every couple of minutes.) This process should take about 20 to 25 minutes. The risotto is ready when all of the broth has been absorbed and the rice is tender but still has a small bite to it.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley, and mascarpone cheese (if using). Drain the asparagus and stir it into the risotto. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately, garnished with lemon zest or extra cheese, if desired.
- Serves 3 to 4 as an entrée, 6 to 8 as a side dish.