Asparagus Manchego Risotto

There are a couple reasons people shy away from making Risotto, if its not because they are usually made with lots of butter, cream and cheese, (at least for the health conscious) its because the recipes tend to be bit more complicated, time consuming or involved then the average cook likes to take on.  This version however is made with easy to digest Manchego, only two tablespoons of (goat) butter and a large bunch of super nutritious Asparagus.  It will still take about 25 minutes to prepare because you do need to stir constantly but believe me, this one is worth the time!  The recipe calls for a little dry white wine,  I suggest enjoying a glass while you cook.

Medium/large heavy-bottomed pot, medium heat:
1              large bunch Asparagus, 1/2-1 inch of the bottoms trimmed off*
2              tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1              small Leek, thinly sliced (white and pale green only)
1              cup Arborio Rice
1              teaspoon fresh Tarragon Leaves, chopped
1/4         cup dry White Wine
2              tablespoons Butter (Goat or your choice)
1/3         cup Manchego Cheese, grated
Sea Salt and Ground Pepper to taste
Small pot:
4             cups Broth (Vegetable or Chicken), heated

* To prepare the asparagus, first trim and discard the bottom inch or so, second,  cut the stalks horizontally, into thin rounds, all the way up BUT leave the tips whole.  – You will be adding the tips later so that they keep a firmer texture.

Heat oil in the medium/large pot and add the leek. Cook, stirring once or twice for two minutes.

Add the rice and tarragon, cook, stirring often for another two minutes.

Pour in wine and cook, stirring, until most of it evaporates.  Add the sliced asparagus stalks with 2/3 a cup of the warm broth, cook and stir until most of the liquid is absorbed.

Add 1/2 a cup more of the broth, cook and stir, once absorbed add another 1/2 cup,  and repeat the same process for approximately ten minutes.

Add asparagus tips and more of the broth until the rice is al dente and the sauce appears thick and creamy – about another 8 minutes.

Stir in butter and cheese. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper.


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