This is pure spring, combining of some of my favorite ingredients in the world: asparagus, black truffle, and a perfectly soft poached egg.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Fill a large bowl with ice water and bring a large skillet of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add half of the asparagus to the skillet and blanch for 1 minute, or until it is bright green. Immediately plunge the asparagus into the ice water to stop the cooking process. Transfer the blanched asparagus to a blender and puree for 1 to 2 minutes, or until smooth. Toss the remaining asparagus with the olive oil on a rimmed baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Roast the asparagus for 10 to 12 minutes, or until the asparagus is tender when pierced with a fork.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook slowly until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. In a separate pot, bring the broth to a boil. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice to the onions, and cook for 2 or 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until the wine has been completely absorbed by the rice. Begin to add the hot broth to the rice a ladleful at a time, making sure the previous addition of broth has been totally absorbed by the rice before adding more. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the broth has been absorbed and the rice is creamy but with a slight bite to it. Stir in the cheese and season with salt and pepper. Set aside and keep warm.
Bring a saucepan of water to a gentle rolling boil. Add the vinegar and a pinch of salt. Crack the eggs into a saucer one at a time and gently slide them into the water. Poach for 2 minutes, or until the whites are set but the yolks are still runny. Carefully drain the eggs on a paper towel.
To serve, stir the asparagus puree into the risotto and spoon into shallow bowls. Gently arrange a poached egg and some roasted asparagus on top of each portion. Shave a bit of black truffle over the top or drizzle with a bit of truffle oil, if desired.
© 2010 All rights reserved. Published by Rodale Books.