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Spring Asparagus Risotto

Photo: Becky Luigart-Stayner; Styling: Cindy Barr
Yield 8 servings (serving size: 1 1/4 cups risotto and 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese)
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.

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

Nutrition 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

How to Make It

  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.

Little Savannah, Birmingham, Alabama