Spring Asparagus Risotto

Although asparagus is available year round, and we do enjoy that convenience, we treasure our Connecticut crop every late spring because as with everything else, freshly harvested always tastes better.

Ingredients

  • 7 cups water
  • 3 ribs organic celery, cut into ½-inch slices, including leaves
  • 2 tablespoons organic butter or organic vegan buttery spread
  • 1 spring onion, finely chopped
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons organic extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 organic shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 large bunch (about pounds) local asparagus, tough stems trimmed and discarded, remaining stem and tips cut into ½-inch pieces
  • 2 ½ cups Arborio rice
  • 3-4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Method

  1. Measure the water into a medium pot. Add the celery, butter, onion, and a little salt and pepper to taste. Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. When it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to medium. Cook, covered, at a medium boil for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the celery is barely tender. Turn off the heat but leave the pot, covered, on the hot stove. Taste the broth for seasonings.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large, deep skillet over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and half of the asparagus. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 minutes, or until the shallots and asparagus are softened. Add the Arborio rice. Stir well to coat with the oil. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add 1 cup of the broth. Stir well to combine.
  3. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, until the rice absorbs the broth. Stir in the remaining asparagus. Add another ½ cup of the broth. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 2 minutes, or until the rice absorbs the broth. Continue adding the remaining broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring continuously for 2 minutes after each addition, or until the broth is absorbed into the rice. Taste for doneness. The risotto should be barely tender, thick, and creamy when done. Stir in the cheese. Taste for seasonings.

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