I love asparagus. Grilled, pan-fried or just boiled, they give the nice touch and tangy flavour that complements your dish.
Growing up in the risotto region of Italy, my mom would make the risotto with asparagus pretty much when the season for this vegetable started, and stir it up with some spicy gorgonzola cheese.
I found very nice local Ontario asparagus at my close-by farmer’s market and had a nice Ontario gorgonzola cheese too. In addition, a friend of mine who imports specialties from Italy, asked me to try a “half-milled” Carnaroli rice for the risotto; this is a milling way that keeps the rice kernel partially whole wheat and give a nice texture and a great cooking hold that doesn’t allow the rice to overcook easily.
Ingredients for 2 people:
1 cup Arborio or Carnaroli rice
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 small onion diced
16 asparagus of which 8 kept whole and 8 cut in small rounds
1/2 cup white wine (optional)
1 tbsp butter cold + 2tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp gorgonzola or blue cheese
1 tbsp parmesan cheese
salt & pepper to taste
Heat up 1 tbsp of butter with the 1 tbsp of olive oil and sauté the onion till soft, at low heat, for about 5 minutes. Add the rice and toast it for about 8-10 minutes till translucent. Pour the wine and let evaporate.
Add the asparagus you have previously cut and let it soften up and then pour the stock a couple of ladle at time letting the rice absorbing the liquid and continue till the rice is cooked “al dente” for about 15-17 minutes depending on the rice used.
In the meantime, in a different pan heat up 1 tbsp of oil and fry the asparagus kept whole and cook till soft; keep aside.
Once the rice is done, turn off the heat and finish it with the gorgonzola and parmesan cheese.
Serve it by placing 4 asparagus tip on top of each risotto.