I don’t know about you guys but I’ve had enough winter for a while. I am itching to get out in my garden and plant my tomatoes, beans, squash, etc., and of course some beautiful, bursting with colour, flowers. Dragging the deck furniture out of the shed, setting up the burbling water fountain, peeling back the cover on the barbeque, watching the birds flitter around the birdfeeder, these things makes me happy. We practically live in our backyard during the warm weather months, it’s like an extension of our house. We make friends with the little million of squirrels and bunnies that inhabit our neighbourhood and throw them bread crusts, spinach leaves, anything to try and discourage them from eating my tulips or poppies, this of course, never works but I continue to hold out hope.
So far spring has proved rather elusive, just when you think it’s managed to grab hold, it flutters aways again. Ah well, until it is well and truly here, here’s a dish that somehow manages to taste like spring, I hope you’ll give it a try. And yes, yet another asparagus recipe, I had a ton of it!
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto for 2
6 – 8 asparagus spears, washed, woody ends trimmed, cut into 1 inch pieces
1 tbps. butter
1 tbsp. olive oil
1 chopped shallot
1/2 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 1/2 cups of warm chicken or vegetable stock (more or less)
salt and pepper to taste
lemon zest of 1/2 lemon
lemon juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
1 tbsp butter
Cook asparagus pieces in boiling salted water for about 5 minutes until tender (not mushy) drain and run under very cold water and set aside.
In a deep skillet on med. heat, add 1 tbsp. butter and 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, saute shallot until soft but not coloured, add arborio rice and toast for a few minutes, stirring so it does not burn. Add wine and cook, stirring until wine is absorbed into rice. Add stock about a 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until absorbed into rice before adding more (you may need a little more stock or a little less) Continue doing this until you get the consistancy of a creamy rice pudding, this will take about 30 minutes. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and parmigiano cheese. Taste if it needs more seasoning. Gently fold in asparagus and take off the heat. Stir in remaining tbsp. of butter. Serve immediately.