Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus RisottoLiving with vegetarian me (though I eat dairy and sometimes fish), is not idyllic for a meat-eating man. He’s never complained, and I try to make it possible for us both to enjoy meals. Asparagus risotto lets us meet in the middle as a main dish for me and a side one for my husband. It’s not too difficult, time consuming, or expensive and it is flavorful, meatless, and satisfying.

Marguerite Marceau Henderson has it in her book Small Plates, Appetizers as Meals. I’ll give her credit because I most closely followed her version, but an earlier one I had was from

Don't judge the book by the lousy photo of its cover. The book is great and I'm not a photographer.

Don’t judge the book by the lousy photo of its cover. The book is great and I’m not a photographer.

Bon Appetit. Recipes evolve and Henderson’s newer version keeps the asparagus fresher, though she loads in twice the cheese. Oh well, proportions are meant to be adjusted to individual flavor that doesn’t compromise the science of making it successful.

4 to 6 servings (I halve recipes unless I want leftovers.)

Asparagus

2 T olive oil, 1 bunch fresh asparagus spears with ends trimmed and cut into 1” pieces, 1 tsp kosher salt

In medium skillet, heat olive oil and add asparagus and salt. Toss; cook over medium heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring often until bright green. Set aside.

Risotto

5 T butter, divided
2 large shallots, chopped (Or one onion. She’s fancier than me.)
2 C Arborio rice
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
6 C warmed broth (She says chicken, I say vegetable.)
2 C green peas, thawed (She says petite, I say let’s use what’s in the freezer.)
1 C grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 C chopped fresh chives for garnish
1/4 C grated Parmesan cheese for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat 4 tablespoons butter and saute shallots until soft, about 4 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat with butter and shallots. Add salt, pepper, and 1 cup of broth. Stir; cook over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Add another cup of brother (continuing the process so that the liquid is being absorbed by the rice); repeat until all the broth is used. After 25 minutes or so, rice should be tender. Add peas, cooked asparagus, cheese, and remaining 2 tablespoons of butter. Cook 1 minute more over low heat. Remove from heat. Serve risotto with chopped fresh chives and grated Parmesan cheese as garnish.

Serve with salad, wine, bread if desired, and oh yes, that meat. Lovely.

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17 Responses to Asparagus Risotto

  1. I L-o-v-e Risotto and the same goes for asparagus. This sounds wonderful. Thanks for sharing, Rebecca. 😀

  2. I loved it, too. Let me know if you give it a try and what you think.

  3. Amy says:

    Wonderful Risotto recipe! Thanks 🙂

  4. Carrie Rubin says:

    I love risotto, but I don’t have the patience to make it. I really should, because it’s so yummy. I usually only get it when I eat out. This one looks good!

  5. Mmmm… sounds yummy. –Curt

  6. Last night I finished the last of the asparagus risotto I made a few days ago. It was so delicious I’m not sure whether to jump in and make another or err on the side of not having too much of a good thing in order to keep it alluring.

  7. My first hub ate meat but I’ve been a veg since high school. I never found it that difficult and my son ate meat and up until a few years ago I would make everyone who ate meat a turkey for thanksgiving but I stopped doing that. My tugboat man hub is a veg like me. I didn’t know you were one of us!

    • I am, and have been since I was 27. I learned it from my grandmother and it was easy to do. I have eaten fish, but find lately that has less appeal. I do cook it for others because I also really believe every human body has a different way of metabolizing and has a slightly different chemistry.

  8. WordsFallFromMyEyes says:

    Just wonderful, wonderful.

    I discussed vegetarianism with my son last weekend, myself having watched “Meet your Meat”. My son said we NEED meat, we’re carnivores, & as he trains martial arts 5 days a week I don’t know how I’d keep his appetite happy without a steak in the mix. Yet me, I’m eating meat less & elss… though just don’t know recipes. Just don’t know how to “do it”.

    • My own unverified opinion is that some people do need meat. Our bodies are different chemical compositions and that needs to be respected. But I also think too many people forget how to listen to the wisdom and rhythm of their body and if more of us did, our eating habits would change, maybe several times. Thanks so much for stopping by and commenting. And it can be a slow go eating less meat, but if it feels comfortable I’m sure you’ll start feeling it’s easier to adjust to, it “just happens” with most people.

  9. I’ll give this a try. An alternative to tomato sauce, sometimes I use artichoke/spinach dip instead. Good hot or cold.

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