Asparagus and Leek Risotto

Asparagus and Leek Risotto is a great way to kick off asparagus season. In the mood for a little indulgence? Add sautéed shrimp at the end. If you’ve never made risotto before, don’t be intimidated. It’s not difficult; just make sure you add the broth in stages, letting it get completely absorbed before adding more. 

Asparagus and Leek Risotto
Adapted from Bon Appétit Magazine
Serves 4

Ingredients
1 pound asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2-inch pieces
5 cups low-salt chicken broth or homemade stock
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup thinly sliced leek (white and pale green parts only)
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Directions
Prepare the asparagus
Cook the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water until crisp-tender (about 2 minutes). Drain and immediately transfer the asparagus to a bowl of ice water to cool. Once the asparagus is cool, drain them again. Bring the broth to a rolling boil in a medium saucepan, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cover and keep warm.

Make the rice
Meanwhile, melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped leek and sauté until tender (about 5 minutes).

Add the rice and stir for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, stirring constantly (about 5 minutes). Add 1/2 cup of the hot chicken broth. Reduce the heat and simmer until absorbed, stirring frequently. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time, allowing broth to be absorbed before adding more and stirring frequently until the rice is just tender and the mixture is creamy (about 30 minutes).

Now, add the asparagus and stir until heated through (about 2 minutes).

Remove from heat. Stir in the Parmesan cheese and parsley. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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