Monday, March 21, 2011

Spring Risotto with Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitakes

Spring Risotto

Yum. This was dinner. It was awesome. And easy. I've have said it before and I'll say it again...Risotto is easy peisy. This one only needs stirring for 20 minutes or so, and it's easy because you can prep all of the ingredients in advance and then when it's show time all you have to do it stir, add wine, stir, add broth, stir, add broth, stir add more broth, then after a bit a little cheese, then the vegetables, then you are done. This task can be made much more enjoyable when wearing black heels, playing a little Harry Connick Jr./ Michael Buble, and sipping Sauvignon Blanc. I know from experience.

Spring Risotto

When done, the risotto should be a bit loosey goosey, not really thick. The cheese will help to tighten it up a little, but for the most part risotto shouldn't keep it's shape too well. If you get to the end and have used all your broth, taste it. If the rice is undercooked or the whole thing is very thick, add more broth or water or wine until it cooks a little more and is thinner. It should be starchy and gooey, but still loose. I would be surprised if you needed more liquid, but these things do happen sometimes, so just beware. If you don't like asparagus use peas or spinach instead. You can play around with risotto. I adore shiitake mushrooms and want to tell you to definitely use them, but if you can't find them fresh or don't like them (gasp), you can use regular button mushrooms to substitute. I won't tell.

Spring in a bowl. Bon Appetit!

Asparagus, Artichoke and Shiitake Risotto

Adapted from Gourmet, May 2003 by way of

Makes 4 main-course servings.

5 cups chicken broth (40 fl ounces)
1 cup water

1/2 a yellow onion, chopped

1 pound thin to medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, leaving tips 1 1/2 inches long

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
1 can plain artichoke hearts, quartered
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 ounces finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 cup, though I used half)

Bring broth and water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Add asparagus and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry. Keep broth warm, covered.

Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 more minute. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.

Ladle in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. (Save any leftover broth for thinning.)

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, remaining tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in asparagus, artichokes and mushrooms, then cover pan and let stand 1 minute. If desired, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve immediately with remaining cheese on the side.


  1. Stopping by from SITS. This looks delicious! I have been looking for some new asparagus recipes. I'm excited to try this one.

  2. This looks delicious. I'm not the biggest mushroom fan- any suggestions for a replacement?

  3. Yes! Anything really. Throw in some spinach or peas or green beans or tofu, red bell pepper. Seriously anything. :) Well, anything except broccoli or carrots, because that would be weird.

  4. The lighting on those photos is impeccable! Excellent!

  5. Thanks for your visit from SITS... visiting and following back. My husband, aka "The Chef", loves risotto... don't know if you noticed one of our recent recipes is a risotto also!

  6. Oh, my, your blog is so stinkin' gorgeous!!! And I agree - risotto is so easy once you learn how to do it a time or two. I used to be so scared of it!

    Thanks for visiting my blog on Monday for SITS day. :)

  7. i'm so nervous to make risotto! but you have convinced me and i will try.... this recipe sounds fantastic!