I have actually never made risotto before. I was apprehensive given the fact it is a difficult dish to prepare correctly, meaning the consistency… keeping it creamy but not over cooked is hard.
I used a large skillet that provided a broad base so the rice cooked evenly. I stirred the rice constantly adding the broth as the liquid reduced and this too was a key to getting the rice cooked perfectly. I suggest using a thinner asparagus as it works better in this dish. You can also add some crispy pancetta to make this a meal in itself. I really enjoyed the lemon flavor with the rice and asparagus. I love the flavor of leeks but shallots or onions also can be substituted. Make the dish first, then play with flavor and substitutes veggies your next time cooking. Enjoy!
• 3 (14 ½ oz) cans fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• ½ cup finely chopped leeks
• 1 ½ cups uncooked Arborio rice
• 2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
• ½ cup dry white wine
• 3 cups steamed (still crisp) asparagus, cut diagonally into1 inch pieces
• ½ cup (2 oz) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
• 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
• 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
• Bring broth to a simmer in a large saucepan (do not boil). Keep warm over low heat.
• Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add leeks; cook 5 minutes or until tender, stirring frequently.
• Add rice and rind; cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in wine, and cook 3 minutes or until the liquid is nearly absorbed, stirring constantly.
• Add 3 ½ cups broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 20 minutes). Stir in asparagus. Add remaining broth, ½ cup at a time, stirring constantly until each portion of broth is absorbed before adding the next (about 10 minutes).
• Remove from heat; stir in cheese and juice. Sprinkle with thyme.