09 March 2012

Recipe for Orange-scented Asparagus Risotto

This risotto takes some shortcuts (you can do other things besides stir the rice, for instance) and lightens up with less cheese and a bit of orange for a more springlike flavor that isn't such a nuisance to make.

Orange-scented Asparagus Risotto

Serves 6-8

1 tablespoon butter
½ yellow onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups short grain white rice
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup white wine, divided
3 tablespoons orange juice
1/8 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon orange zest
2 tablespoons dill
½ cup steamed asparagus, cut into ½-inch pieces
1 large Roma tomato diced
Salt and black pepper to taste

Heat the butter in a large, deep skillet or a Dutch oven over medium-high heat; when it melts, lower to medium heat and add the onion along with a pinch of salt.  Saute until soft (about 10 minutes), then add the garlic and rice; continue cooking until the rice becomes translucent-looking, about 4 minutes.  Stir in ½ cup of the white wine, lower heat to medium-low, and cook until most of the wine is absorbed, stirring occasionally.  Then, add the broth in 1-cup increments, covering to cook and checking periodically to see when it has been absorbed.  Your rice should be mostly cooked when you are done with the broth; if it’s still rather firm, add another cup of water.  When all the broth is gone, stir in the remaining ½ cup of white wine and the orange juice, cooking until liquid is once again mostly absorbed.  At this stage, the rice should be tender and creamy; keep adding water, ½ cup at a time, if this is not the case.

When rice is cooked, stir in the cheese, orange zest, dill, asparagus, and tomato and heat through.  Season with salt and pepper and serve piping hot.