Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto

I have posted about risotto before and felt that it was worthy enough for another post. To me, risotto is comfort food. When I think of it, I think of a cold winter night and a steaming hot bowl of vegetable risotto to warm me up. Why would I have a post about this now? Well, it also works as a summer dish as so many vegetables are in abundance during this time of the year.

One of my recent creations was a mushroom and asparagus risotto. Risotto sounds complicated, but is simple to make. It just takes a little bit of time, but once you have the method down it is easy to do. I got out the homemade veggie broth (a post about that to come in the near future) and got to work.

Asparagus and Mushroom Risotto
  • 2 Tbs olive oil
  • 4 shallots, chopped
  • 1 bunch of asparagus
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped finely
  • 2 c of crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbs chopped parsley
  • 1 Tbs of basil (fresh or dried is ok)
  • 1 Tsp chopped rosemary (dried)
  • 4 c of homemade vegetable stock
  • 1 c of Arborio rice
  • 1/4 c white wine
  • 1/4 c pine nuts
  • Ground black pepper
Place the oil in a large saucepan and heat over medium heat. Add the shallots and saute until slightly soft, about 3-4 minutes. Then add the asparagus and saute for another 3-4 minutes. Add the garlic, mushrooms, and herbs and saute about 3-4 minutes, enough for the mushrooms to get soft. Remove from the pot and set aside.

In the meantime, heat the vegetable stock in a separate pan. Make sure not to boil the broth, but get it hot. Using the pan that you used for the vegetables, place the remaining tablespoon of oil and heat to medium-high. When heated, add the rice and stir until it begins to brown lightly. Begin to add the stock one ladle at a time (about a half a cup). Allow the rice to absorb the broth completely before adding another ladle of broth. Make sure to stir frequently so that the rice does not stick. Before adding the second ladle, add the wine and continue the process. It should take about 35 minutes until the broth is fully absorbed and the rice is creamy.

While cooking the rice, heat a small pan on over medium heat and add the pine nuts to the dry pan. Make sure to stir the nuts constantly so that they brown evenly. It should take about 3 minutes. When the pine nuts smell fragrant and they are toasted, remove them from the heat.

Now that the rice is finished, add in the vegetables and stir. Sprinkle in the toasted pine nuts and ground pepper and stir. Serve with a little fresh parsley on top.

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