August 14, 2009

Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto - A first on Tasty treats!!

Today I have a new recipe for you - a Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto which is a first on Tasty treats. Read through the post to know about my interest in risotto.

After watching Hell's Kitchen for a couple of seasons, I was fixated by Gordon Ramsey's obsession with risotto and its preparation!! Having never tasted a risotto before, I was wondering why he is so particular on its texture and outcome. Anyways, it is not such a presentable dish at all, even if a five star chef prepares it, so what could be so hard in preparing the seemingly mushy rice dish!? But I just couldn't be far from wrong! I learned it the hard way, I prepared my own risotto at home, without a tried or tested recipe. The result was so good, sooooo good!! I have a new-found respect for risotto, its texture and the flavor combination that goes into it. So trust me, don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge a risotto by its looks!! I accomplished a couple of firsts - my first risotto and my first asparagus dish at home.

I found a recipe on Martha Stewart website and decided to adapt it to what I had at home. Sure, I tweaked the recipe to include some Italian seasoning, played with the proportion of ingredients a bit. The veggies I used were white button mushrooms and about 1/2 a bunch of asparagus (I guess my bunch was relatively huge). I also added a unique ingredient - a pinch of saffron- to the risotto. We are absolutely clueless about wines, so JM just grabbed a bottle of Pinot Grigio from the wine shop. I enjoyed the flavor of this particular wine, a lot. I also followed another advice on the internet - I used fresh Parmesan cheese grated just before use from a wedge of Culinary Circle Parmesan Cheese. The risotto turned so creamy and delicious as the cheese melted into the rice.

Recipe (Serves 3-4):

Arborio rice - 2 cups
White button mushrooms - 8oz, chopped into chunks

Asparagus - 3/4 bundle
Onion - 1 large, chopped
Garlic clove - 1 large, chopped
Italian seasoning - 1/2 tsp
Dry white wine - 1/2 cup + 1/4 cup
Vegetable broth - 1 can
Water - 3 cans (or as needed)
Extra virgin olive oil -4 tbsp, divided
Pepper - to season
Salt - to season
Parmesan cheese (culinary circle) - 3/4 cup
Butter - 3 tbsp
Saffron - a big pinch


Wash the asparagus stems and cut the tips off from about 2" from the top. Cut the rest of the stems cross-wise into small pieces.

Boil water and salt in a saucepan and cook the asparagus stems for about 2 minutes until they are tender crisp. Drain and keep aside.

Repeat with the asparagus tips and keep aside.

In a large skillet/pan, heat about 2 tbsp olive oil.

Saute the chopped garlic and onions until translucent and soft.

Toss in the rice and saute for a minute.

Add 1/2 cup white wine and reduce until the wine has almost evaporated.

Pour vegetable broth and wait until the broth is completely absorbed.

Repeat twice more.

Add a pinch of saffron and mix well.

In another skillet, heat olive oil and add the chopped mushrooms.

Season slightly with Italian seasoning.

Make the asparagus tips crisper in the skillet and keep aside for topping the risotto.

Crisp the asparagus stems slightly in the skillet and keep aside.

Toss in 2/3 of the sauteed mushrooms into the rice.

Add more vegetable broth or water as needed.

When the rice is 3/4 cooked, add about 1/4 cup of wine and allow to be absorbed by the rice.

Once the rice is al dente (or cooked to your liking), add the cooked asparagus stems.

Season with pepper and salt as needed.

Stir in the butter and cheese and mix well until melted.

Serve the risotto hot with the reserved mushrooms and asparagus tips on top.

Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Inspired from: Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto on Martha Stewart website.

Hope you all enjoyed this delicious post. See you soon with another tasty treat!! Take a moment to check out the latest floral pictures from MN on "Through the looking glass".

Have a great day!!

1 comment:

aquadaze said...

something for you on my blog :)