Risotto- ahh, is there anything more delicious and comforting? I actually can’t pick between pasta or risotto, its a tough call. lol. Yet, I gotta be honest, making the perfect batch of soft, creamy cooked risotto has always eluded me, it seems to always end up crunchy and dry. BUT, with a few tweaks, I feel like I have mastered the art of making risotto.
There are a few things that I feel have helped my risotto game. 1. The right pot- I love my 4.7 L Le Creuset Dutch Oven. It gives the perfect surface area, and is deep enough to really stir and combine the ingredients. If you are using another pan, make sure it is at least 10′ in diameter. 2. Keep the stock hot which also helps break down the rice, helping it to cook faster. 3. Have everything prepped and ready at the stove as you don’t want to leave the rice unattended. 4. Use arborio rice. I have tried other short-grain versions including carnaroli, but prefer the texture and finish when using arborio.
Risotto really feels like a complete meal, and the combo of leeks, shallots and asparagus bring in a light spring feel. Want to brighten it up even more? Zest and juice lemon for a fresh finish.
1/2 lb of asparagus trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces, blanched
4 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic
5 cups of chicken or vegetable stock
1 shallot, finely minced
2 leeks (white and light green part only), thinly sliced and well washed
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 tbsp butter
1/2 cup – 1 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 lemon zested and juiced (optional, if you don’t like lemon you can omit this)
01. Prepare asparagus: bring water to a boil and cook asparagus pieces for 2 – 3 minutes. Once finished, drain and blanch by adding to a bowl of ice water. This helps to seal in the nutrition and keep its bright green colour.
02. Heat stock and keep warm over medium to low heat. Hot stock is very important to help bring out the creaminess of the rice (and also helps it cook faster).
03. In a large, heavy-bottomed dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallots, leeks, and garlic, cooking for a minute or two until translucent and fragrant.
04. Add the arborio rice and cook until coated for about 2 minutes.
05. Add the wine slowly stirring to allow the rice to absorb all the wine.
06. Start adding the hot stock, 1/2 cup at a time. Continue stirring the rice until the stock is completely absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Keep working in 1/2 cup increments, continually stirring and allowing the rice to absorb the stock.
07. When you reach your last 1/2 cup of stock, add the blanched asparagus and continue cooking until the rice is soft and asparagus is cooked. If your rice is still firm/crunchy then you may require additional stock. It should have a fairly soft and creamy texture and consistency.
08. When you have reached the desired consistency, remove from the heat. Stir in lemon zest + juice, parmesan, butter and adjust the taste by adding salt and pepper.
09. Sprinkle with more parmesan if desired and enjoy!