Risottos are one of those rice dishes that seem very complex to make. But once you get the hang of it, you’ll find it pretty straightforward. This asparagus risotto tastes like fresh spring. In addition, it looks like a springtime food with its bright green color. Welcome spring with this satisfying asparagus risotto recipe.
Making Asparagus Risotto
Asparagus risotto has a bright green hue and flavor but isn’t tricky to make. To keep the cooking process simple, gather your ingredients ahead of time. And if you can multitask, you can simultaneously blanch your rice and your asparagus in separate pots. Doing both of these at once will speed up the overall process.
To make asparagus risotto, you’ll need the following:
- One bunch of asparagus
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil, divided
- One large leek or onion
- Four roughly chopped garlic cloves
- 1 cup of arborio rice
- 3 1/2 to 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup of basil leaves
- 1/4 teaspoon of pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- One lemon with zest and juice to taste
Steps for Creating Asparagus Risotto
Start by preparing your asparagus. For instance, you should break off the fibrous ends and compost them. Next, cut the tops off and set them aside. Chop the middle stalks into 1-inch pieces. Put 1 1/2 cups of the middle pieces aside to blanch and blend into the creamy sauce later. Finally, the rest of the middle parts can go in the pile of tops for later.
Now, blanch the 1 1/12 cups of middle pieces of asparagus for about five minutes. Afterward, drain them and keep one cup of the liquid. Add one cup of liquid, blanched asparagus, two tablespoons of oil, and basil in the blender. Then blend it all until it is smooth.
Slice the leek into thin half-moons and rinse well with water to remove any grit. Next, sauté them in the remaining oil for five to six minutes. Throw in the garlic and cook for another two minutes. Now, it’s rice time. Add the rice and coat it, then add a cup of broth. Simmer this mixture over medium-low heat. As the rice absorbs the broth, add another cup. Finally, add the asparagus tops when you add the last cup.
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How to Serve Your Asparagus Risotto
When it’s time to serve this risotto, stir the creamy asparagus sauce into the rice. Finish it with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. The great thing about this risotto is that you can pair it with fish, seafood, or mushrooms. In addition, it works great on its own. This recipe will serve two to three people if you make the asparagus risotto your main dish. As a side, it can serve four to five. Of course, you can add extra toasted pine nuts or pecorino cheese for a finishing touch.