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Monday, April 18, 2016

Quick Risotto Primavera

I always think of my friend Susie and her old neighborhood in Brooklyn when I eat risotto. On a visit years ago, she took me to the restaurant Noodle Pudding, which had a daily risotto special. Here is a quick, meatless version for the spring asparagus season.


Quick Risotto Primavera

Adapted from The America's Test Kitchen Quick Family Cookbook
Serves 4

1 1/2 c Arborio rice
5 c chicken broth (divided)
4 T unsalted butter (divided)
1 onion, chopped fine
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 c vermouth
1/2 lb asparagus, no thicker than 1/2 inch at the bottom, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 lb crimini mushrooms, cut into 1/2-inch chunks
1 c frozen peas, thawed
2 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (1 c), plus extra for serving
salt and pepper

In covered bowl, microwave rice, 3 1/2 c broth, and 2 T butter until rice is softened and most of liquid is absorbed, 10-16 minutes.

Chop the onion. Melt 2 T butter in a medium or large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook onion in butter until softened, 3-5 minutes. Turn down the heat a bit if the onion starts to burn. Add minced garlic and stir, then add wine and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. While onions are cooking, trim the asparagus and cut it into 1-inch pieces. Also, trim the mushrooms and cut into 1/2-inch chunks.

Stir in rice mixture, remaining 1 1/2 c broth, asparagus, and mushrooms. Simmer, stirring constantly, until rice and vegetables are tender, 5-8 minutes. Add 1/2 c water if the vegetables aren't done at 5 minutes. Stir in peas and Parmesan, and cook for an additional minute while the peas heat. Season with salt and pepper and serve with extra Parmesan.

Note: This recipe seems quite flexible. The original called for vegetable broth instead of chicken, white wine instead of the vermouth, and yellow squash instead of the mushrooms. I used what I had on hand, and it turned out beautifully. Shredded rotisserie chicken would be a nice addition for meat lovers.

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