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Three-Grain Risotto with Asparagus Spears

Yield 4 servings (serving size: about 1 cup risotto, 3 asparagus spears, and about 1 teaspoon pine nuts)
Rice, barley, and quinoa give this risotto contrasting textures--creaminess from the rice, chewiness from the barley, and crunch from the quinoa. Flowering herbs make a pretty garnish.

Ingredients

  • 1/8 teaspoon saffron threads, crushed
  • 1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped shallots (about 2 medium)
  • 1/2 cup uncooked Arborio or other short-grain rice
  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick-cooking barley
  • 1/4 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup (4 ounces) shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
  • 2/3 cup 1% low-fat milk
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 asparagus spears, steamed
  • 1 tablespoon pine nuts, toasted

Nutrition Information

  • calories 393
  • caloriesfromfat 24 %
  • fat 10.5 g
  • satfat 3.9 g
  • monofat 4.5 g
  • polyfat 1.4 g
  • protein 17.3 g
  • carbohydrate 57.3 g
  • fiber 6.3 g
  • cholesterol 18 mg
  • iron 2.9 mg
  • sodium 638 mg
  • calcium 275 mg

How to Make It

  1. Bring saffron and broth to a simmer in a small saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.

  2. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add shallots; sauté 3 minutes. Add rice, barley, and quinoa; sauté 2 minutes. Add wine; cook 2 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed. Stir in 1 cup water; cook 5 minutes or until liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly. Add broth mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth mixture is absorbed before adding the next (about 25 minutes total).

  3. Remove from heat; stir in cheese and next 4 ingredients (cheese through pepper). Top with asparagus spears, and sprinkle with pine nuts.