Lemon Asparagus Risotto
2 c. Arborio rice (Italian rice for risotto)
6 cups chicken broth (kept warm in its own sauce pan)
7 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 cup shallots minced
1/4 c. Vermouth or dry white wine
1 c. Parmesan cheese grated
2 tbs parsley chopped
1/2 lb asparagus (grilled or cooked to almost tender then cut into 1 inch pieces)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 burrata cheese
Bring broth to simmer.
Remove zest from lemon. And set zest aside
Cut remaining lemon in half and toss into broth
In a separate sauce pan (medium size), saute shallots in 6 tbs of butter. Do this over medium heat and cook shallots until they just start to color golden.
Add the rice. Turn up the heat just a little bit and stir with a flat sided spoon or spatula for about a minute. This will flavor the rice.
Stir in lemon zest, then add wine and stir until moisture just disappears.
Add 1 1/2 c. chicken stock and gently stir (to keep from sticking to bottom of pan) until broth is absorbed.
Continue adding broth, a cup at a time, stirring until rice is cooked to al dente. There should be just a little bit of resistance in the middle when you bite it (not hard, but still some texture). This whole process will take about 20 minutes and use up most or all of the broth. If you need more broth near the end to get it tender, water works fine. Rice should be creamy and not cooked too dry.
Stir in remaining 1 tbs butter, parsley, and 3/4 of Parmesan cheese. Remove from heat.
Set the asparagus tips aside and blend the remaining pieces in a blender or processor. Stir asparagus puree into the risotto.
Serve the risotto garnished with asparagus tips and a healthy spoonful of burrata cheese.
P.S. it only looks and sounds difficult. This is a no brainer and it's fun!