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Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto

When I saw Anne’s post for broccoli-lemon risotto, I definately got a craving for risotto. I didn’t really have anything better to do than stand by my stove and stir for 40 minutes tonigh, so I figured that it would be the perfect time to indulge my craving.
I had broccoli in the fridge, but what caught my attention was the bunch of ultra-tender asparagus purchased for Easter that somehow escaped consumption over the weekend. Yum. So I first thought to just substitute asparagus in Anne’s recipe, but I noticed I also didn’t have honey. I didn’t want rice and asparagus. Sure, it would taste fine, but it’s not terribly exciting. Meyer lemon was the answer.
Owen did something similar for an IMBB a couple of months ago, but I don’t own a rice cooker. I knew I would have to improvise. I checked Epicurious for advice/inspiration and ended up with the below recipe for my final result. Less butter, less cheese, more lemon, more goodness.
Overall, I was very pleased with the dish. The cheese didn’t overshadow the lemon, which superbly complimented the asparagus. It was creamy and wonderful.

Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto

1 – 1 ½ cups asparagus
3 ½ cups chicken (or vegetable) stock
½ tbsp butter
2 shallots, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
zest of meyer lemon
juice of meyer lemon
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for two minutes. Shock with cold water to stop the cooking and drain well. Cut into one inch pieces and set aside.

Bring chicken stock to a boil in a saucepan. Cover and turn heat to low.
In a Dutch oven, sauté shallots in butter over medium heat until light brown, about 4 minutes. Add rice and lemon zest. Stir to coat in butter/shallot mixture for 1-2 minutes. Add 1-1 ½ cups stock and reduce heat to low.
Stirring regularly to make sure rice doesn’t stick to the pan, add stock in ½ cup additions as the rice absorbs liquid. Check the rice before the last addition to see if it is done (rice should be al dente, not mushy). Add lemon juice into the rice with the last addition of stock.

As the lemon juice is absorbed, add asparagus, salt and pepper to taste. Stir two minutes then remove from heat. Stir in parmesan cheese and serve.
Serves 4 as a side, 3 as main.

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1 Comment
  • Inlandia
    January 11, 2009

    This was also great, but a word of advice. When she says Serve Immediately, do it. I put the lid on to keep warm while we finished our first course and by the time I served it the asparagus had faded to a grayish green. The flavor was still good and all my company loved it. A great recipe.

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