Asparagus and Lemon Risotto: A Bright, Flavorful Dish Packed with History
The risotto, similar to the quiche, is a delightful dish that carries with it a tale of time and taste. Born in Northern Italy, risotto is a creamy rice delicacy cooked in a broth to bring out its rich flavors. One such variant balmy with the spirit of Spring is our Asparagus and Lemon Risotto.
Using the best of the season's produce, asparagus and lemon risotto encapsulates the fresh, vibrant colors and flavors of spring. It combines the light, tangy notes of lemon with the savory essence of asparagus, beautifully wrapped in the creaminess of Arborio rice. And of course, the crowning jewel is the Selo Olive Oil, bringing a touch of authentic Croatian flavor to your plate.
Preparation Technique Matters
When it comes to cooking asparagus for your risotto, it’s both a matter of the recipe and personal preference. Some recipes may require you to pre-cook the asparagus, which can help eliminate any excess moisture and ensure the spears are evenly cooked. However, adding asparagus raw directly to the risotto can add a delightful crunch to the dish and can allow the asparagus to cook gently in the simmering rice, releasing its flavor throughout the risotto.
Why Isn’t My Risotto Creamy?
Perfectly cooked risotto should be creamy and moist. A risotto might lack creaminess if it’s overcooked or if the ratio of liquid (broth and wine in this case) to Arborio rice is not right. Too less liquid will end up in a dry risotto whereas too much can make it runny. Remember to add the broth slowly, letting the rice absorb all the liquid before adding more. This gradual addition of liquid is key to releasing the rice's starch, which gives risotto its characteristic creaminess.
The joy of Spring produce
Asparagus is one of the first vegetables that greets us in the spring. Its fresh, earthy flavor is a wonderful addition to any spring dish. When combined with the subtle acidity of lemon and the richness of the Parmesan, the result is a perfectly balanced Asparagus and Lemon Risotto that can light up any table.
Make it Croatian with Selo Olive Oil
An essential ingredient in this risotto recipe is Selo Olive Oil. This Croatian olive oil brand not only helps in sautéing the vegetables and rice but also imparts a delicate flavor and a beautiful glossy finish to our Asparagus and Lemon Risotto. It's a great way to incorporate a touch of Croatia into this Italian classic!
Lemon Asparagus Risotto
Selo Olive Oil
- 1 lb asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
2 tbsp Croatian extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 lemon, zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- In a medium saucepan, bring the broth to a simmer over low heat.
- In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add the Arborio rice to the pot and stir to coat with the oil. Cook for 1-2 minutes until the rice is slightly translucent.
- Add the white wine to the pot and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.
- Add 1/2 cup of the warm broth to the pot and stir until it is absorbed by the rice. Repeat this process, adding 1/2 cup of broth at a time and stirring constantly until the rice is tender and creamy, about 20-25 minutes.
- While the risotto is cooking, blanch the asparagus in a pot of boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes, until tender-crisp. Drain the asparagus and transfer to a bowl of ice water to cool. Drain and set aside.
- Once the risotto is tender and creamy, remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice, Parmesan cheese, and asparagus.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Let the risotto rest for a few minutes before serving to allow the flavors to meld together. Serve hot, garnished with additional Parmesan cheese if desired.