Risotto is a versatile dish that can accommodate different vegetables according to the season. Here, asparagus and peas represent spring, but in summer it might be zucchini, mushrooms in fall, and root vegetables in winter.
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut on the diagonal into generous 1/4-inch wide pieces
- 2 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 2 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots, minced
- 1 1/2 cup Arborio rice, uncooked
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- 1/2 pound peas, shelled
- Salt, to taste
- Over medium high heat, bring a saucepan of water to a boil. When it is boiling, blanch the asparagus, cooking just 1 to 2 minutes. Remove to a colander, and rinse under cold running water until cool, then set aside.
- In a saucepan, combine the broth and water and bring to a simmer over medium high heat. Reduce heat to maintain at a simmer.
- In another saucepan, over medium high heat, combine 2 tablespoons of the butter with the olive oil and the shallots. Sauté until soft, about 1 minute, then add the rice and stir until the rice is opaque.
- To the rice, add about 1 cup of the broth, and stir. When the broth is absorbed, add more, stirring, until only about ¾ cup of broth is left and the rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes. Stir in the remaining butter and add as much broth as needed to complete cooking the rice. Stir in the peas, the asparagus, and the cheese. Taste and adjust for salt as needed. Serve immediately.