Thursday, May 14, 2009

Using Veggies - Asparagus Risotto

Today is the day we pick up our first CSA share. We are splitting the share with another couple, and we are all so excited to see what will come in the boxes every other week. I think the biggest challenge will be thinking of new ways to use the veggies. While sautéing or steaming has its purposes and is great for quick preparations, it is not always the most interesting thing at every meal.

One bunch of Asparagus magically made it through three meals this week. First it was sautéed in an olive oil, white wine, stone ground mustard mixture. Then it was steamed and mixed with fresh risotto. Finally it was broiled with squash stuffed shells.

Each preparation tasted and looked a little different, keeping the meal interesting and delicious. With all the veggies we should be receiving, keeping it interesting will be the theme of the summer!

Asparagus Risotto
2 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1/2 medium onion
2 cloves garlic
1 tsp fresh Oregano
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1/4 white wine
2 cups stock (veggie, chicken, or bird)
2 tbsp milk
8-10 stalks Asparagus, washed and cut into 2” pieces
Salt and Pepper to taste

In a large skillet heat the oil. Add the onion and garlic with a little salt cooking till soft and translucent. Add the oregano and some fresh ground pepper. Increase the heat and add the rice. Let the rice mix with the oil and cook about 5 minutes, do not let the rice brown however.

Slowly add the wine and cook down till. Continue to add stock to the rice, about 1/4 cup at a time, cooking the rice until almost all the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Stir every once in awhile; do not over mix during the later parts of the cooking time or the rice will become mushy. Should take about 10-15 minutes for the stock to absorb.

Meanwhile in a sauté pan heat 2 tbsp of water. Add the asparagus and cover, letting the pieces steam. Set to the side once they are fork tender.

Stir in the steamed asparagus with any remaining liquid from the steaming. Add the milk to the rice and a little more water if the mixture is too sticky or if the rice is not cooked through. Adjust the salt and pepper. Serve immediately while warm.

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