My mom knows I've got a thing about risotto, so she clipped this recipe from the London Free Press and sent it to me. In the figuring-out-how-to-make-risottos-easily category, I've upped my game from a medium cast iron skillet to a large non-stick skillet that has basically revolutionized my kitchen. If you do not have a large, oven-safe skillet, get one.
ASPARAGUS AND PEA RISOTTO WITH MUSHROOMS
5 cups (1.25 L) of chicken or vegetable broth
1 tbsp. (15 ml) extra virgin olive oil
1/4 inch (5 mm) piece of pancetta or bacon finely diced
1 (1) onion, finely diced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) of sliced shiitake or cremini mushrooms
1 (1) clove garlic minced
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) Arborio rice
1/2 cup (125 ml) white wine or vermouth
2 lbs. (1 kg) fresh peas in the pod, shelled (about 1-1/2 cups (375 ml) )
1/2 lb. (250 g) asparagus, tough ends removed, cut into 1 inch (2.5 cm) pieces and blanched
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) butter
2 Tbsp. (25 ml) chopped chives
1/2 cup (125 ml) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
chives for garnish
Additional Parmesan cheese for garnish
1. Bring the chicken or vegetable broth to a simmer in a saucepan.
2. In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta or bacon and cook until crispy. Add the onion, cook until soft and light golden. Add the mushrooms and garlic and cook a further minute.
3. Add the rice and cook until glossy (about 1 minute). Add the wine and cook a further minute until absorbed.
4. Add the hot broth to the rice, a cup at a time until it is absorbed, stirring occasionally. When the rice is slightly tender, yet still firm to the bite, add the peas and asparagus. Add more broth as needed. Cook until the peas are tender and the rice is just cooked. Add the butter and stir until melted.
5. Stir in the chives and the Parmesan cheese. Season generously with freshly cracked pepper. Add salt if needed.
6. Spoon into shallow bowls and garnish with the chives and some additional cheese.
Options: I sometimes like to stir in 1/4 cup (50 ml) of crumbled, mild, soft goat's cheese in step 5.
- I went with shiitake mushrooms because there weren't any creminis at the store yesterday. Shiitakes are woodsier.
- I accidentally omitted the garlic in that I thought I had some, but it turned out I didn't.
- Pinot grigio was my white wine of choice. It produced a very strong smell when added to the pan, much to the amusement of Bell repair guy (hi, Jason!).
- Shelled my own peas, aw yeah. I bought them fresh in the Byward market.
- If you are adding your broth a cup at a time, you've got 5 additions. I added the veg between 3 and 4.
- No chives included. I don't care for chives.
- Also no goat cheese.
- So delicious that I had to stop myself from overeating.
Delayed high quality photography by yours truly, as usual. I tried to place the plate among my window garden for a more "natural" look, forgetting that there is a height differential between my window sill and the greenery.