Spring Asparagus Risotto

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Clif Holt, chef-owner of Little Savannah in Birmingham, Alabama, prepares this classic risotto for harvest dinners at Jones Valley Urban Farm. For a vegetarian entrée, use vegetable broth.

Yield:

8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups risotto and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)

Recipe from

Nutritional Information

Calories 283
Fat 7.7 g
Satfat 4.4 g
Monofat 2 g
Polyfat 0.3 g
Protein 10.5 g
Carbohydrate 44 g
Fiber 4.1 g
Cholesterol 23 mg
Iron 2.2 mg
Sodium 634 mg
Calcium 144 mg

Ingredients

4 cups (1-inch) slices asparagus (about 1 1/2 pounds), divided
3 cups fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth, divided
1 1/2 cups water
1 tablespoon butter
2 cups chopped onion (about 1 large)
2 cups uncooked Arborio rice or other medium-grain rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 cup (4 ounces) grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preparation

1. Place 1 cup asparagus and 1 cup broth in a blender; puree until smooth. Combine puree, remaining 2 cups broth, and 1 1/2 cups water in a medium saucepan; bring to a simmer (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

2. Melt butter in a large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion to pan; cook 8 minutes or until tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in rice; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add 1/2 cup broth mixture; cook 2 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add remaining puree mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 30 minutes total). Stir in remaining 3 cups asparagus; cook 2 minutes.

3. Stir in 3/4 cup cheese, cream, salt, and pepper. Transfer risotto to a bowl. Serve with remaining 1/4 cup cheese.

Note:

Clif Holt,

Little Savannah, Birmingham, Alabama,

April 2009