Risotto agli Asparagi e Zafferano

cipolle asparagiburro vino rosa

The weather is starting to change, the windows are open, the air conditioning turned off. It isn’t chilly yet, I do live in South Carolina, but the sticky heat has started to lift. This is really getting me in the mood for fall, all of the new vegetables that I will find at the market, cozier foods and more time spent outside. If people in Chicago spend a few months inside due to the cold, people in the South spend about the same amount of time cooped up indoors due to the sticky heat. I’m thinking, what’s the difference? Still thinking about Chicago on this side.

risotto agli asparagi

Risotto has never really been a very summery dish, it warms the soul like a good stew, something we don’t really need in 95° weather with 80% humidity. Most spring vegetables, like asparagus, are perfect for making a risotto. Of course it is September and these asparagus were obviously found at the grocery store and not at the farmers market. I look forward to seeing the goods this evening at the market, it has been pretty thin these past few weeks, a few more weeks and fall veggies will start making their appearances.

con lo zafferano risotto agli asparagi e zafferano

Risotto agli Asparagi e Zafferano

  • 1 cup of Carnaroli or Arborio rice (Italians measure rice by demitasse cups, 1 cup for each person and one for the pot)
  • 1 bunch asparagus, about a pound
  • 2 packets of saffron powder or a few threads of saffron
  • ½ an onion, chopped finely
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup of dry white wine
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • a few sprigs of flat-leaf parsley
  • salt to taste

Break the ends of the asparagus stalk and discard, break the rest of the stalk into 1-inch pieces and  rinse well. (I used very thin asparagus, which I didn’t need to blanch before adding them to the risotto, if your asparagus has thicker stalks, blanch them for 2 minutes before adding them.)

Chop the onion into fine pieces and bring the broth to a simmer. Heat a large stovetop casserole pan over medium-high heat and melt 1 tbsp butter at the bottom of the pan. When the butter is melted add onion and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add rice and coat it in the butter, toasting it a bit. When the rice becomes opaque, after about 1 minute, add the wine to the pan, enough to cover the rice, stir frequently.

When the rice has absorbed the wine, add the asparagus and a ladleful of broth to the pan and continue stirring. Continue adding the broth as the rice absorbs it, you want it to almost dry out before adding the broth each time. Add the saffron powder or threads to the risotto towards the end of its cooking.

When the rice is finished it should be al dente and all of the liquid should be absorbed. Remove from heat and add the rest of the butter. Serve immediately.

risotto agli asparagi e zafferano

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~ by italicious on September 10, 2009.

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