recipe: creamy risotto with asparagus and grape tomatoes
I’ve started making risotto as my go-to meal, which I realize is weird to say because risotto isn’t really a quick meal. In fact, risotto takes a lot of time and a lot of patience, so maybe this is the way I work on my patience, since it’s always been something to work on. Anyway, I’ve been making it a lot lately, and I’m getting really good at it. So I wanted to share my latest recipe, though please bear in mind that I do a lot of trial and error and you should as well, should you decide to give risotto a try.
this will be enough for 2 servings, so double for more
2 tablespoons butter, divided
1/2 cup uncooked arborrio rice
1/4 yellow, sweet onion, chopped
16 oz. chicken broth or vegetable broth, or stock (might need more, or less)
2-3 tablespoons heavy cream
shredded pecorino cheese
5-6 asparagus, cut into bite-sized pieces
a dozen grape tomatoes, sliced in half
salt and pepper, to taste
1. Prepare your asparagus and tomatoes by chopping / slicing. Set aside in a bowl. This is an important first step because you won’t have time to do all of the chopping later, as all of your attention will be focused on the risotto.
2. In a small or medium saucepan, heat the chicken broth over low heat.
3. Heat 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. It helps to have a no-stick saucepan, as it will prevent the risotto from, well, sticking. And burning.
4. Heat the chopped onions in the butter, stirring until the onions are nearly translucent, but not browned. Add the rice and cook, stirring, while rice pops. As soon as rice begins to stick, even a little, move to step 5.
5. Spoon one ladle-full of chicken broth over the rice. Stir until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat with another ladle of chicken broth. Again, stir until the liquid is absorbed. Continue this, one ladle at a time, for about 12-15 minutes.
6. This is the time-consuming part. You must stir pretty consistently, paying attention to it so that the rice doesn’t burn or stick. Also, now’s the time when you should be testing the rice, here and there, especially towards the end of that 12 minute mark. The rice will be done once it is soft and no longer hard. Until then, even past 15 minutes, add a ladle of chicken broth for the rice to absorb. Note: this will try your patience!
7. Once the rice is near done, heat remaining butter in a small skillet on medium heat. Add asparagus and cook until tender. The asparagus will turn a brighter green. Add tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Turn heat to low to keep warm while rice finishes.
8. Once the rice is done, add a tablespoon or two of heavy cream to the risotto and stir to incorporate. The amount of heavy cream is up to you, depending on how creamy you’d like your risotto. After adding the heavy cream, add in the shredded pecorino cheese, to taste, and stir until cheese is melted. Add asparagus and tomatoes and stir.
9. Serve hot, and enjoy!