Wednesday, October 24

Lemon Asparagus Risotto

It’s been cool and drizzly the last few days - a sure signal that fall is finally here - but our markets are still selling summer produce rather than winter squash and greens. I’d been craving something comforting, so I decided to make a cold-weather classic but using bright, fresh flavors. This risotto (loosely based on this recipe) is still super creamy and warming, but the lemon and asparagus keep it from feeling too heavy. It’s the perfect thing to eat while transitioning the seasons and a nice introduction to many upcoming cozy nights. If you love risotto but don’t feel like spending an hour at the stove, try this easy weeknight version.

Lemon Asparagus Risotto:
  • Melt 2 tbsp. butter in a small dutch oven and add in 1 diced onion.
  • Cook over medium heat for 7-10 minutes, or until soft but not brown.
  • Add in 1 c. aborio rice and stir so that each piece of rice is coated with butter.
  • Add in 1/3 c. dry white wine and cook for another few minutes, or until most of the wine has been absorbed.
  • Begin adding in a ladle from 1 qt. warm chicken stock* into the rice, stirring often.
  • Wait until most of the stock has been absorbed, then add in another ladle.
  • Continue adding in stock until rice is half-way cooked, then add in the zest of 2 lemons, salt,** and pepper.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil and add in 1 bunch of trimmed asparagus.
  • Cook asparagus for 5 minutes, or almost tender, then transfer to a bowl of ice cold water to cool.
  • Cut asparagus into 3/4" pieces and set aside.***
  • Continue cooking rice until nearly done, then stir in the asparagus and continue adding stock until rice is al dente.
  • Stir in 1/4 c. grated Parmesan cheese, the juice of 1 lemon, 1 heaping tbsp. Greek yogurt,**** and any more salt and pepper.
  • Divide into bowls and garnish with minced scallions and more cheese.

Serves two- three
*It's easiest to keep it simmering in a pot next to the risotto. Can substitute for vegetable stock.
**Be modest with the salt because the chicken stock and cheese will also add saltiness.
***Can be done a day ahead of time and kept in the fridge. Leftover cooked asparagus would also work.
****Optional, but I like the tang and extra creaminess it provides.