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Mushroom-Asparagus Risotto

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Serves 4 as a main, or 6 as a first course

  • by Naomi Duguid from Fine Cooking
    Issue 122

Baldo rice is a great pick for this simple springtime risotto because it releases enough starch as it cooks to warrant only frequent—not constant—stirring, making this less labor intensive than most risottos.

  • 7 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
  • Kosher salt
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-1/4 cups minced shallots
  • 2 tsp. minced garlic
  • 7 oz. white, cremini, oyster, or portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
  • 12-1/4 oz. (1-3/4 cups) Turkish baldo rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 6 oz. medium asparagus spears (about 10), trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
  • 1 oz. Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1 cup using a rasp grater)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Put the broth in a 3-quart saucepan, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat; lower the heat to maintain a simmer.

Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-duty 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes. Lower the heat to medium, add the rice, and cook, stirring often, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.

Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of it is absorbed, about 30 seconds.

Stir about 1-1/2 cups of the simmering broth into the rice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add another 1-1/2 cups broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of it is absorbed, about 3 minutes. Repeat the process once or twice more, tasting the rice every few minutes after the third broth addition until it’s just shy of firm to the bite but without a crunchy center, about 12 minutes after the first addition of broth.

Stir in the asparagus and 1 cup broth. Cover, lower the heat to the low, and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the rice is tender but with some resistance, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the cheese. Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve right away, sprinkled with black pepper.

nutrition information (per serving):
Calories (kcal): 390; Fat (g): 13; Fat Calories (kcal): 120; Saturated Fat (g): 3; Protein (g): 14; Monounsaturated Fat (g): 8; Carbohydrates (g): 52; Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2; Sodium (mg): 320; Cholesterol (mg): 5; Fiber (g): 2;

Photo: Scott Phillips

Absolutely delicious. I love the quicker cooking method that still lets me have a fantastically creamy risotto. You can read my full review at Taking On Magazines: http://bit.ly/15aB1yj

This is delicious and relatively easy. I used a bit more mushroom and asparagus than the recipe calls for in order to increase vegetable content. Will definitely repeat!

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