California Asparagus Risotto

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California Asparagus Risotto
California Asparagus Risotto
2 tbsp. butter
2 cloves garlic
1 Large leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green part only)
1 cup Arborio or short-grain rice
1 tsp. dried thyme*
1 (32- oz.) container vegetable stock, warmed
1 bunch asparagus (about 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 lb.)
1/2 cup white wine
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan cheese
Pepper to taste

Prep: 10 minutes, Cook: 45 minutes, Serves: 6

1. Melt butter in a large skillet. Add garlic and leek; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in rice and thyme; cook for 2 minutes more. Add stock 1/2 cup at a time, adding more when it has been absorbed by the rice and stirring frequently.

2. While rice is cooking, cut asparagus into 1-inch pieces. Steam in a small amount of water for 3 minutes. Remove half of asparagus and let cool slightly; puree until smooth.

3. Stir asparagus puree, pieces and wine into risotto. Cook for a few minutes to heat through, then stir in cheese and pepper. Serve immediately.

*May substitute 1 tbsp. fresh thyme, adding at the end of cook time.

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