Asparagus and Pea Risotto

Asparagus and Pea Risotto

This asparagus risotto has a simple and fresh flavour. The earthy nuttiness of the parmesan goes really well with the spring vegetables, even though it’s summer. I built this recipe off a previous version of risotto I made as the ratios worked well. The consistency is creamy although there isn’t a lot of butter or cheese in it. I wish I had rained down some fresh herbs on top. That would have brought it to another level. Next up, mushroom risotto, one of my favourite dishes! Who’s in? -bvox

Asparagus and Pea Risotto

1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into bite size pieces and blanched
1 cup frozen peas, thawed
5-6 cups veggie stock
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped shallots
1-1/3 cups short grain rice, such as arborio
1/4 cup dry white vermouth or dry white wine (I used vermouth)
1-1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tbsp butter

Clean and cut the asparagus into 1 inch pieces, discard the woody ends. Blanch the asparagus for a minute or so and plunge into a cold waterbacth to stop the cooking. After a couple of minutes, drain and set aside.

In saucepan, bring stock to boil; reduce heat to low and keep warm.

In large deep skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté shallots until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add rice, stirring to coat and toast grains, about 2 minutes. Stir in vermouth until absorbed.

Add stock, 1/2 cup at a time and stirring after each addition until most of the liquid is absorbed before adding more, about 20 minutes total. Taste before adding last 1/2 cup; rice should be loose, creamy but not mushy, and still slightly firm in centre of grain. Add asparagus, peas, salt and pepper and stir well.

Remove from heat. Stir in Parmesan cheese and butter; let stand for 2 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with more Parmesan.

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