Risotto was always one of those dishes I was afraid to make because of the difficulty. It’s certainly time consuming, but not as fearful as I thought and it’s worth the effort. It’s officially Spring so it’s only fitting to make a seasonal vegetable risotto. Read the recipe below and let me know what you think in the comments section!
- 4 oz. pencil-thin asparagus
- 7 cups water
- pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup butter
- 4 oz. can of sliced mushrooms
- 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, sliced
- 1 shallot, diced
- 1 & 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry vermouth
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 2 tsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
- 2 tbl. lemon juice
1. Cut asparagus just below the tips, then on an angle at 1/4-inch intervals. Discard the woody part at the bottom. Set aside. Bring water to a simmer and hold at low simmer.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat and add the mushrooms. Cook, stirring occasionally, until crispy and browned. Season with pepper and set aside.
3. In a large saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat and let brown slightly. Add the shallot to the pot and cook until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the rice and stir so that it is coated with the butter and glossy, about 1 minute.
4. Add the vermouth and cook, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon, until it is absorbed by the rice. Add the thyme springs. Ladle in 1/2 cup of the simmering water and stir constantly, until the rice absorbs the liquid. Keep at a gentle simmer. Continue ladling in water, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring between additions and letting the rice absorb the liquid before adding more. When the rice has absorbed half the water (about 10 minutes into cooking process), stir in the lemon zest. Continue stirring and adding water, 5 minutes more. Stir in asparagus.
5. When the rice is tender but al dente, after 20 or so minutes of cooking time, stop adding water. Vigorously beat in the remaining butter and cheese. Add the mushrooms, peas and lemon juice and stir just until heated through. Remove from heat. Let risotto rest for a minute or so before serving.