Mar 18, 2013

Spring Asparagus Risotto



Creamy risotto, cooked with Spring asparagus, fresh herbs, Parmigiano-Reggiano and a touch of lemon. Perfect as a meatless main dish if you use vegetable broth, or wonderful as a side with grilled shrimp.

This Italian rice dish is a labor of love, not the kind of dish you turn on and walk away from, but instead slowly cooked with ladlefuls of broth, adding more each time it's absorbed. Just before the last ladle, I added fresh asparagus to the last five minutes of cooking time and finished it with a touch of lemon juice and lemon zest.


Because risotto is so simple, I like to use the freshest ingredients when I make it such as seasonal vegetables, fresh herbs and good cheese.


Asparagus is perfect addition to risotto, and now in season. This spear-shaped veggie is an awesome weapon for your health. It’s packed with disease-fighting nutrients including fiber, folate, vitamins A, C, E and K and glutathione, a detoxifying compound that may protect against certain types of cancer. And it’s loaded with age-defying antioxidants that work to neutralize cell-damaging free radicals in your body. Look for spears with tight buds and firm stalks without wrinkles.



Spring Asparagus Risotto
Skinnytaste.com
Servings: 4 • Size: 1 generous cup as a main • Old Points: 5 pts • Points+: 7 pts
Calories: 255 • Fat: 4 g • Protein: 9 g • Carb: 43 g • Fiber: 2 g • Sugar: 0 g
Sodium: 630 mg

Ingredients:

  • 4 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1/3 cup shallots, chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • 2 oz dry white wine
  • 3/4 lb thin asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed, cut 2-inches long
  • 1-2 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving
  • salt and fresh cracked pepper, to taste
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest for garnish


Directions:

In a large saucepan, heat broth over medium-high heat. When it boils, reduce heat to a simmer and maintain over low heat, taste for salt and adjust as needed.



In a large heavy saucepan over medium heat, heat the oil and add the shallots; sauté 3-4 minute. Add the rice; mix well so the rice is coated throughout and saute until the rice is slightly translucent, about 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it is absorbed. 

Add a ladleful of the simmering stock; stir and wait until it is absorbed before adding another ladleful stirring gently and almost constantly. 

Continue this process until the rice is creamy, tender to the bite, but slightly firm in the center. Add the asparagus along with the last ladle of broth and continue cooking 5 minutes, total time should be about 25-30 minutes from the time you started. When all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.



Serve immediately and top with fresh cracked pepper, lemon zest, and extra grated cheese if desired.

Makes over 4 cups.

Nutritional information for asparagus provided by Heather K Jones, RD.

59 comments :

  1. I just love risotto!! I recently went to a Williams Sonoma demo where they made this and it was so yummy!! I have to try it out at home!!

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    1. Very cool, I've never gone to one of there demos, must be fun.

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  2. Great recipe! I'm SO happy asparagus is back in season :)

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    1. me too I love Asparagus! favorite!! :)

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  3. Gina,

    Looks yummy, but what is Arborio rice?

    Thanks so much for all your effort!!

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    1. It's an Italian rice, they sell it in the supermarket.

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  4. Gina,

    Looks yummy, but what is Arborio rice?

    Thanks so much for all your effort!!

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  5. One thing I learned from my Italian friend is to throw the usused asparagus ends in the broth while it simmers and it adds some delicious flavor. I also do a similiar dish to this and add fresh peas and make it with leeks. It's delicious.

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  6. I just found your site last week- and I have been absolutely in love with it!! Thank so much for sharing all these super yummy, healthy recipes:)

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  7. Love this recipe can't wait to try it probably can add chicken too it too and or mushrooms when not lent! Thanks again! Love your recipes and ideas!!

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    1. Sure, I make risotto with mushrooms, peas, butternut squash, and more!

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  8. I have been absolutely loving risotto lately. I can't wait to try this recipe. It is well worth the work of standing by the stove adding broth and stirring for 1/2 hour. In fact, it's a pretty darn easy thing to make! Thanks for the recipe!

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    1. I agree, although it requires your full attention, it's pretty easy to make.

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  9. Hi Gina!

    I want to make this for a pot luck dinner with some friends in a couple of weekends. But I am wondering if I could make this the day before and heat it up again on the day of? I don't enough time to make this on the same day.

    Thanks!


    J

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    1. I think it would reheat ok in the microwave.

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  10. Yum! This looks divine - I love asparagus!

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  11. Just bought asparagus at the farmers market yesterday...I will definitely be making this tonight!

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  12. Mmm, I LOVE risotto! I love adding lemon to any recipe with asparagus - they just go so well together.

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  13. I love asparagus and am always looking for new ways to cook it! Thanks for sharing!

    Paige
    http://thehappyflammily.blogspot.com

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  14. I make a version with peas and saffron. I bet saffron would be wonderful with asparagus too.

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    1. Love saffron risotto with seafood :)

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  15. This looks great! We make something like this with chicken and carrots added too. I also loved your Butternut squash risotto. :)

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  16. Now this is the way to welcome spring! Lemon and asparagus make me feel as though the warmer weather is right around the corner.

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  17. This looks like a winner. Over the last few weeks I have made about 20 of your recipes for my family and they have all been wonderful!!

    I am slowly creating a binder of all these successful creations.

    Thanks.

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  18. This looks so good!! I'm always looking for recipes to include asparagus. Thank you!

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  19. I love cooking vegetarian at home! Will have to try this.
    Also, I just came across your blog for the first time and your pictures are beautiful!

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  20. Looks delish! Can extra chicken broth be subbed for the wine?

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  21. Hi Gina,
    I love your blog and have made so many amazing recipes that you have shared. Thank you! So I decided to give this recipe a whirl last night, but didn't have any arborio rice, so I used brown rice. It didn't work out so well - I had to triple the amount of liquid, and it took 2 hours and 20 minutes of stirring crunchy rice before I finally had to abandon it and get to bed. The flavor is excellent, but it is still hard and kind of crunchy.

    I know risotto is supposed to be made with white rice, but I've also made it with quinoa before and know it is possible to use something other than white rice, so I'm wondering if you have any suggestions on how to successfully make risotto with brown rice without it taking 2 and a half hours? Thank you,
    Joli

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    1. I've done some experimenting with brown rice risotto. It takes a long time to cook brown rice no matter what, but here's a trick that seems to work pretty well for risotto. Pre-cook the brown rice for about 20 minutes and then drain it. Then follow the risotto recipe as-is by adding the pre-cooked rice to the saute pan. Good luck.

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    2. Thanks, Mark! I knew there must be a faster way!

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    3. Could this recipe work using quinoa or would the flavor be too nutty?

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    4. The whole idea with risotto is using Arborio rice. The starch release is different than that of regular rice or brown rice. The final results will be different and not creamy.

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  22. Sorry to be dense, but is this gluten-free?

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  23. I made this last night, it was so, so good. I've shied away from Risottos thinking they were hard to get right, you made it easy!

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  24. I made this last night, it was so, so good. I've shied away from Risottos thinking they were hard to get right, you made it easy!

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  25. I can't wait to try this!! It looks so yummy!! Thanks for all you do Gina!! I've been introduced to your site a little over a month ago by a friend of a friend and I've tried so many of your healthy recipes in that month and I've lost 26 pounds by eating healthy!! I'm so happy and thrilled so I can't thank you enough. My husband thanks you too Gina!! He's lost 32 pounds in the same amount of time!! Please keep those recipes coming!!

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  26. this is delicious!!
    thank you for sharing! since i live alone i started cooking.. and i discovered i love it! yummyyy!!

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  27. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delish! I opted to not use any cheese and it was still awesome, even my husband agreed!

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  28. Looks absolutely delicious!!!!

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  29. I made this last night and it was amazing!! My husband was a huge fan! I rehydrated wild mushrooms in chicken broth and used that broth for the risotto. I just put the mushrooms in the same time as the asparagus. It was great!! Thanks so much for the recipes Gina!!

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  30. I made this for dinner tonight and it was delicious! My husband ate all except my serving :). This was my first time making a risotto, your directions were easy to follow. It was also the first time I had ever cooked with shallot, I had to you tube how to chop it, lol. But the effort was worth it! Thanks for another great recipe!

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  31. Thank you for this post! I made it last night and my boyfriend, who usually doesn't even really care for asparagus, was devouring it! Great side dish.

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  32. sorry I didnt like the risotto but will make it with regular rice did try it just not fond of that type of rice

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  33. Would this work as a make-ahead meal? I'm wondering if this would work to make on a weekend and be able to take it along with me to work since I work nights. I'm not sure how it would hold up as leftovers, especially since I've never made risotto and it says to "serve immediately!" Thoughts? Suggestions? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  34. This was absolutely delicious! I've been looking for healthier recipes to use for Easter (Instead of the normal holiday side dishes that help my stomach bloat to 3x it's size), and I will definitely be using this one! Going to share this on my blog :)

    http://livinglovinghealthy.blogspot.com/

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  35. this is a labor of love ... and ABSOULUTELY fabulous!!

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  36. First Gina I love your site! I've been cooking from it for a long time before I joined WW (again) and now all the time since I'm back on it!

    I love risotto, my husband hates cheese, I've never tasted any parm in any risotto I've had, so my question is can it be hidden from him in eating it, or can I leave it out so he'll eat it. Or lastly, do I just make it for myself and let him enjoy some bad take out! :)

    thanks again for all your recipes, you've made my journey tasty!

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  37. I made risotto for the first time with this recipe and it turned out perfect! Thank-you Gina!

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  38. Can't wait to try this tonight, thank you!

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  39. I made this for dinner tonight; added enoki mushrooms...yummy and will definitely make this again.

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  40. I made this today minus the wine. It is very good and light flavored. Mine turned out brownish probably because my shallots turned out more browned on the edges and even the rice got browned a bit. Less white than the photo but still very rich looking. I added less asparagus, a tiny bit of peas, and I added the parsley during the last ladle. I have not added the cheese just yet; will wait until we serve it and likely use romano, since my husband does not like parmesan. Great recipe, thank you. p.s. I made my own vegetable stock too (boiled carrots, celery, parsley, and onion for an hour or so and strained).

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  41. I made this tonight and it was so YUMMY! Was a little skeptical of the lemon zest, but it added so much flavor and totally made the difference. I love your website!

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  42. This was fantastic and for a risotto first-timer, it was fun to make. I roasted the asparagus for almost 20 min at 425 with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Definitely going on repeat!

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  43. I've made this exact same recipe for years. Must be something handed down. It's very yummy.

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