My sister Theresa visited Chicago this past weekend. Friday night I made risotto for us for dinner. While it was still good, it was not as creamy and delicious as the last time. (You can even tell from the pictures!) I have two guesses as to why. 1) Not enough Parmesan cheese at the end and 2) Shorter cooking time than before, so maybe the heat was too high and it took away from some of the creaminess. Anyway, I found the recipe on Smitten Kitchen’s site and of course her picture is beautiful.
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup water
2 bundles asparagus
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick unsalted butter
1 package shitake mushrooms – sliced
1 can artichoke hearts – quartered
2 shallots – chopped
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/3 cup grated Parmesan Cheese (She calls for 2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, which is 1 cup, but she only used half)
Bring broth to a boil and toss in the asparagus after breaking the ends off. Boil for 3-4 minutes and then pull out and drop into a bowl full of ice water. This will stop the asparagus from continuing to cook. Drain the asparagus after it is cool and chop into bite sized pieces. Set aside. Keep the broth on simmer.
Heat the oil with 1 T. butter in a pot. Add the mushrooms and saute for about 4 minutes, season with salt and pepper and then transfer to a bowl and set aside. Add a little more butter and cook the onions. After 3 minutes add the rice, stir for about 1 minute before adding the wine. Cook until it has dissolved.
Start adding the broth, one ladle at a time, stirring the whole time. Do not add the next cup of broth until it has all dissolved in the pot with the rice. Cook at medium low (I cooked at about medium, or just under, and I think it should have been lower). It will take 20-30 minutes for the rice to cook.
Stir in cheese, butter, salt and pepper. Gently stir in the vegetables and let sit for a minute or two to heat through.
Notes: I liked the asparagus and shitake mushrooms in this risotto and look forward to trying it with other vegetables, maybe even butternut squash sometime. Again, this risotto was good, but not as good as the last one I made.
Servings: 8-10 servings!