This springtime risotto is totally worth the effort of cooking it.
|5 c||broth (chicken or veggie)|
|1 lb||asparagus (trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch slices)|
|1 T||olive oil|
|1⁄2||butter (stick, unsalted)|
|3⁄4 lb||shiitake mushrooms (caps, cut into 1/4 inch slices)|
|2||artichokes (large, fresh, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices, prepared per instructions below)|
|2||shallots (finely chopped)|
|1 1⁄2 c||arborio rice (barley is an excellent substitute)|
|1⁄2 c||dry white wine|
|2 oz||parmesan (freshly grated)|
Bring broth and water to boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the slices of asparagus and cook until they are crispy but tender, about 3-5 minutes. While the asparagus is cooking, prepare a dish of ice water. Once the asparagus has reached the desired consistency, pull out of the broth and place in cooling bowl. Once fully cook, remove from water and pat dry. Keep the broth at a very low simmer, covered. Heat the olive oil and 1 T. of butter in a deep saucepan over medium high heat. Once thoroughly melted, sauté the mushrooms until browned. In the immortal words of Julia Child, “Don’t crowd the mushrooms!” They will brown best if agitated lightly and given plenty of space in the pan. Season with salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Place 2 T. of butter in your recently vacated pan. Cook your onion pieces until softened. Add the rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently. Add the wine and continue to cook until the rice absorbs it. Pour in 1 c. of the hot broth and simmer. Stir frequently, until broth is fully absorbed (about 2 min.) Continue to simmer and add broth, ½ c at a time, until the rice is tender and looks creamy. This will take somewhere between 15 and 25 minutes. If you have extra broth, save it for later, in case your rice needs thinning! Remove the rice from heat. Stir in the remaining butter, ½ c. of Parmesan cheese, and add salt and pepper. Gently fold in the asparagus, artichokes and shiitake mushrooms while the rice is in the pan. Cover and allow the flavors to infuse the dish- this will take about a minute. If your risotto is thicker than you like, now is a great time to add that extra broth. Serve immediately with the rest of the cheese!
To prepare your artichokes: Juice a large lemon and place juices in bowl. Remove all outer leaves, the choke and the stem of the artichoke, leaving just the heart. Cut the heart into ¼ inch slices. Completely coat the heart slices in the lemon juice- this will keep the artichoke from browning. Bring a small pot of water to boil, adding about 1/8 c. of white wine and a tsp of vinegar. Drop in the artichoke hearts, along with the lemon juice, and simmer for 10-15 minutes, until tender. Drain and set aside!