Herrington on the Bay proudly sources local produce for our wedding and event catering. Spring means asparagus and we're excited to have our first deliveries of asparagus from Swann Farms in Owings. This recipe for asparagus risotto is perfect for Spring celebrations.
Did you know that it takes 2 to 3 years to establish a crop of asparagus?!? Patience is key with this beautiful vegetable that is one of the first to sprout in springtime. Asparagus is a perennial crop, which means that once it gets established, it will return year after year.We source our asparagus from Swann Farms, a family produce farm located in Owings, Maryland. This recipe features delicate flavor and lots of texture. Sure to be a hit at your springtime celebrations - or just as a big bowl of comfort food.
From Herrington on the Bay Catering
Yield: 6 cups
Portion: .5 cup per person
Number of portions: 12
1.5 lbs asparagus
1 large bunch Italian parsley (or spinach)
1/4 tsp fine sea salt
3 tbsp butter (we use Tavola Italy butter)
1.5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3/4 cup Spanish onion, finely diced
3/4 cup Pinot Grigio wine
2 cups Arborio rice
2 quarts vegetable stock
1/2 cup caesar blend cheese
1 lemon, juiced
Bring a small pan of salted water to a boil.
Trim off the bottom inch of the asparagus and discard. Cut off the first 3 inches of the tips; slice the remaining stalks into 1-inch lengths. Drop the tips into boiling water and cook 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl filled with ice water.
Add chopped stalks into the boiling water and cook for 3 minutes, you want the asparagus to soften but remain firm. Immediately remove the stalks with a slotted spoon and put in a blender along with the parsley or spinach. Add a pinch of salt and ½ cup of the cooking water per lb of asparagus and puree until very smooth.
Heat 1 tablespoon butter and the oil in a heavy pot over medium-high heat until the butter melts and sizzles (but doesn't turn brown). Add diced onion and pinch of salt and cook it softened, about 1 minute.
Add the rice and stir to coat with the fat, cook until the rice begins to crackle, about 1 minute. Add wine, stir continuously at a soft boil until liquid has evaporated.
Slowly add in vegetable stock, maintaining a steady bubble (not a violent boil) and cook until absorbed, stirring frequently for 7 - 1O minutes. Continue cooking until liquid is almost absorbed. Watch carefully at this point - the rice will be nearly ready when the grains have swelled in volume and the liquid becomes thickened.
Taste the rice - it should be tender all around, and very slightly al dente at the core. Add more liquid if needed, ¼ cup at a time until you feel it's done. Add salt to taste. There should be some thick, starchy liquid still left in the pot. You may not use all of the vegetable stock.
When risotto is cooked aldente, remove pan from heat and stir in the reserved asparagus puree, remaining butter and half of the cheese.
Add lemon juice and salt to taste. Gently stir in the asparagus tips or save to accent plated risotto. Add cheese to top of each serving.