Dana Treat – Treat Yourself

Begging for Spring

Posted February 21, 2011

Asparagus Risotto with Orange Pepper and Orange
Dana Treat Original
Serves 4

5 cups vegetable broth
1 small bunch asparagus, about 1 pound, ends trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 tbsp. butter
1 large shallot, finely diced
2 garlic clove, minced
1 small orange bell pepper, seeded and finely chopped
1½ cups Arborio rice
Zest of 1 orange
½ cup dry white wine
¾ cup frozen peas, no need to thaw
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh parsley
¼ cup chopped fresh chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Put the stock in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer.  Turn heat to low.

Boil water in another medium saucepan.  Add a large pinch of salt and then stir in the asparagus.  Cook until just crisp-tender, about 3 minutes, then immediately transfer the asparagus to a ice water bath.  Allow to cool completely, then drain.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium heat.  Melt the butter then add the shallots along with a large pinch of salt.  Cook, stirring constantly, until starting to soften, about 3 minutes.  Add the garlic and orange bell pepper and cook for another 3 minutes.  Add the rice and stir well to coat with the fat and vegetables and also to toast it slightly.  Pour in the wine and stir constantly until the wine is absorbed.

Pour in most of the vegetable stock, holding back about 1 cup of it.  Stir the pot vigorously for 1 minute.  Cover and reduce heat to low.  Cook for 15 minutes, stirring vigorously just twice.  Uncover and add the asparagus, peas, cheese, and herbs.  Give it a good stir and add a bit of stock at a time, stirring constantly, until the rice is al dente.  You want a decent amount of liquid in the risotto – not so enough that it is soup, but not dry either.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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