Saturday, May 8, 2010

Spring Risotto

Spring is finally here and the farmer's market is offering crisp stone fruits, fat purple asparagus and the season's first corn.
Somehow when I looked into our fridge tonight I swear I heard it whisper risotto. Seemed like a perfect way to showcase the season's finest -- and it couldn't be more simple.
I finely chopped half an onion and started two TBs of olive oil and two TBs of butter to warm in a frying pan. When the butter was melted and had just started to foam I added the onion along with S&P and two sliced garlic cloves and let the vegetables soften over medium heat.
Meanwhile I brought a pan of water to a boil and added in the asparagus to blanch for about three minutes (these were pretty large asparagus). I set the cooked asparagus aside and saved the cooking water to use as liquid in the risotto along with a bit of chicken broth I had in the fridge.
Back to the frying pan, in went 1 1/2 cups of arborio rice which I stirred around and let absorb some of the hot oil. We didn't have any wine open so I added about 1/4 cup of marsala to the pan and cooked it down before starting to add the liquid -- about a 1/2 cup at a time. After every addition I gave the mixture a couple stirs and let the pan bubble gently over med low heat, tasting for doneness and for seasoning along the way. When the rice was just about tender, I added kernels I cut off two ears of corn, along with the last of the broth.
Just before serving I stirred in a couple more TBs of butter, S&P, the asparagus, and a good sized handful of both parmesan and gruyere cheese.
Spring on a plate.

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