Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Easter Dishes: Spring Risotto with Asparagus "Pesto"

Pin It  I've got a thing for risotto. And it's not just because it's so creamy and delicious.

That's part of it, of course.  But, I also appreciate its versatility.  Throw anything in with a bit of stock and some arborio rice, and you can call it dinner.

Some people complain that risotto takes such a long time to make.  And they whine about how it requires so much stirring.  But, that's another thing I love about it.  I love watching the rice toast in the oil.  I love how you can see it absorbing the liquid -- first the wine, and then the stock. I love how the grains turn from firm to creamy, almost before your very eyes. And the stirring -- well, that's sort of like meditation.

I particularly love risotto in the springtime when I have a wealth of new vegetables and fresh herbs to choose from.  Like asparagus.


The asparagus pesto in this dish is made in the same manner as a more traditional basil pesto. Blanched asparagus is pureed with garlic, Romano cheese, toasted pine nuts and olive oil, along with a bit of spinach to intensify its bright green color.  Lemon juice is added to pull the flavors together and add a pleasant brightness to the finished pesto.

This delicious spring risotto makes an excellent vegetarian main course or side dish which can be served with a variety of roasted or grilled meats. Leftover asparagus pesto is delicious tossed with cooked pasta, spread on grilled cheese sandwiches, or stirred into potato soup.

Even the leftover risotto is delicious.  Dish it up into a bright colored bowl and eat it right out on the patio, alongside the daffodils, while sipping a glass of delicious Savignon Blanc.


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7 comments:

  1. I just mentioned that I have asparagus in the kitchen to try for the first time! This looks perfect! :)

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  2. Oh this sounds refreshing, and wonderful!!! I adore risotto and asparagus, so would be perfect:-) Take care, Terra

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  3. Throw some chicken strips in there and it will be irresistible.

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  4. So in love with the color green. Asparagus is bountiful in Spring.

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  5. I love risotto for the same reason - you can do just about anything with it.

    It's funny how people will complain that 20 minutes of stirring is "too much work" but will fawn over cutesy TV cooks who dirty multiple pots and are constantly in motion in order to get a meal made in "30 minutes" (uh huh).

    I have put asparagus bites in my risotto, but never though to just grind it up in there. Will have to try.

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  6. Lovely color and looks delicious. So simple to prepare.

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