Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus Risotto
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Risotto has always been one of those dishes that I love but never really got around to making. When I received our share of asparagus in the CSA box I knew it was time to learn how. It is rich, creamy and exactly the type of comfort food that I crave.

As mentioned before Jake is not a fan of asparagus, at all. I have tried to serve it to him many ways, he will eat it, but never will he reach for seconds. So when I saw him re-fill his bowl for another helping, I was quite pleased.

I love the fresh spring asparagus in this dish, but if you too, do not love asparagus, there are so many other options. Keep it classic. Use mushrooms. How about crab!

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adapted from: The New York Times via Mario Batali

1 pound of asparagus, peeled, trimmed, and cut into one inch pieces, reserving the tips
4 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons of butter
1/2 cup leek, washed, and diced (1/3 red or yellow onion would work too)
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
salt to taste
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese

In a medium sauce pan, bring water to boil and add half of the asparagus stalks. Cook for 4-6 minutes until soft. Rinse under cold water and place in food processor. Add a couple tablespoons of water and puree. Set aside.

Using that same sauce pan, add stock and place over low heat.

In a large skillet or saucepan, put oil and 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat. Add leek and cook for 5 minutes until soft. Add rice and cook for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in white wine, after liquid has slightly dissolved add a pinch of salt. Begin adding warmed stock, about 1/2 cup at a time. Stir. Add another 1/2 cup once liquid is reduced. Keep stirring.

Add asparagus pieces and tips after 15 minutes, continuing to add stock. Continue until it has reached the consistency you desire. Mine took about 25 minutes. At this point add asparagus puree. Remove from heat. Add remaining butter, stir, add cheese, and keep stirring. Adjust seasoning.

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