I will admit that I didn’t always like risotto. I thought it was gummy and sticky, but then I realized that is just classic bad risotto. My first experience with good risotto was with my Uncle John at the Stumbling Goat, in Seattle. We sat down at the bar ordered all of the appetizers. I love going out and trying a bunch of different dishes, not just ordering one big plate of something. I was pleasantly surprised by their leek risotto. It was creamy, but still light. Also, it spread out on the plate which is exactly what good risotto is supposed to do.
So I decided to go home and try making risotto myself. The one thing you have to be prepared for is that you will have to stand and watch it cook for roughly half an hour because it can easily go wrong. But the result is delicious. And once you figure out how to make risotto, you can get creative and add whatever vegetables or meats you want into it.
4 servings/Adapted from Cooking Light
- 1 lb. asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
- 1 3/4 cups low- sodium chicken broth
- 2 Tbsp. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1 cup frozen petite green peas
- 3/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 cup cream cheese
- 1/2 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 cup parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh thyme
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil in a saucepan. Add asparagus, and cook for 2 minutes. Drain. Bring 2 cups water and chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
Heat a large saucepan over medium heat. Add olive oil, and swirl to coat. Add onion, cook 4 minutes. Add garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in rice, peas and salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture; cook for about 4 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stiring constantly. A good way to measure whether it is ready for more liquid or not is to drag a wooden spoon across the pan and see if it leaves a trail in the rice. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and waiting for the liquid to mostly absorb before adding more liquid.
Stir in asparagus, cream cheese, pepper and parmesan, cook for one minute. Divide into portions and then serve with shaved parmesan.
Your risotto should look a little more soupy than mine. This one had been sitting for longer than normal to get a picture.