Spring Risotto

There seems to be a ton of asparagus in the markets lately.  Maybe because we have had such a late spring, or maybe it is like this every year, and I just don’t remember – but everywhere I go, they seem to be pushing the asparagus.  I don’t mind at all, since I love it – can’t get enough.  I have gone through stages over the years on the type of asparagus I buy.  Some years I am focussed on the thin spear, and will only buy them when they are shaped like a pencil.  Some years I only want the big thick ones – and then I spend time peeling the spears.  That woody stem turns into a soft stalk that is silky on the outside loaded with flavor.  This year I seem to be mixing it up a bit – sometimes thin, sometimes thick – depending on how much time I think I have.  The asparagus has been so good and fresh, that both kinds have been outstanding.

I saw this recipe in Cooking Light, looking at the pound of asparagus I had sitting in the refrigerator, and I had our meal planned.  The only problem was that once I thawed the edamame and left the bowl on the counter, all ready to add to the dish – it slowly started to disappear.  My older daughter LOVES those soy beans.  I actually had to make some more – but other than that, this was quick and easy – I didn’t even mind all that stirring – it came together quickly, and had a wonderful flavor.  The thin asparagus I had in the refrigerator was perfect for this preparation, and I saved myself some peeling.  Even though it is back to being gray and dreary again, I can pretend it is spring…

Ingredients

  • 1 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3/4-inch pieces
  • 1 3/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup uncooked Arborio rice
  • 1 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 ounce shaved Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

Preparation

Bring 4 cups 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, edamame, and salt; cook for 1 minute. Stir in 1 cup broth mixture; cook for 4 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until liquid is absorbed before adding more (about 20 minutes total).  Add the asparagus.

Spoon 1 cup risotto into each of 4 bowls. Top each serving with 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese; sprinkle evenly with thyme.

Serves 4 for dinner, 6-8 as a side dish.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Spring Risotto

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