A year or two ago when I first decided to try my hand a risotto, all the recipes I found warned of the difficulty and time commitment. They painted this scene of standing over a pot for hours, stirring to make that perfect creamy consistency.
Now, why would I do that if I could just go to Bistro Bella Vita and get the perfect dish every time?
But then I decided to try a recipe I found with asparagus and goat cheese, and I didn’t have to spend my day babysitting a pot of rice. (I did, get to buy a food processor which was one of the better decisions I’ve made in my life.) It went surprisingly well! I was as proud of a dinner as you can be. So, I’ve made changes to the original recipe along the way to make it my own.
Ben brought home some farm-stand asparagus this week, and it only took a few minutes of conversation for us to agree it needed to be used in a risotto. With goat cheese. We disagreed on the need for bacon in the dish, but decided to leave it out this time. Oh, and he bought a bunch of mushrooms for homemade pizza over the weekend, so we could add those in, too.
That’s what I love about this particular dish– it’s so versatile. You can use what you have in the kitchen, what’s in season, or alter the ingredients to pair well with a particular dish.
It makes for fantastic leftovers, too. Enjoy!
Arborio rice is mandatory. It’s like a hybrid between pasta and rice.
If you don’t have a food processor, buy one. You will find a lot of uses for it. I’ve used mine for cookies, protein shakes, seasoned butter…
Gradually adding in the broth is key here, make sure you wait until the broth is absorbed by the rice to add more.
You can use goat cheese crumbles or log, it will melt either way. I usually have crumbles on hand for salad.
Asparagus and Goat Cheese Risotto
- 3/4 cup arborio rice
- 1 lb asparagus, ends trimmed
- 1 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (optional)
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 2 oz goat cheese
- Salt & pepper to taste
Place rice in a bowl and add just enough water to cover the rice. Allow to sit for 5-10 minutes, drain, and reserve water. Set rice & water aside.
Cut the tips off the asparagus and place both the stalks and the tips into a pot. Cover with water and simmer until asparagus has softened. Drain, and separate tips from stalks, placing stalks into a food processor. Pulse until stalks become puree.
Set a skillet over medium heat, add butter and allow to melt. Sautee onion, mushroom, and garlic in melted butter until soft. Pour rice into the pan and toast while stirring frequently. After 2-3 minutes, add rice water and wine. Once liquid is reduced, turn down heat and add in broth 1/2 cup at a time. Once the liquid is absorbed, the rice should have a creamy consistency.
Stir in asparagus puree, goat cheese, salt, and pepper. Add in the asparagus tips and cook for 1-2 minutes until soft.