This was a terrific dinner I made last week. It was quick and delicious. I found it in Tyler Florence’s “Family Meals.” Tyler calls for poaching an egg and eating that atop the risotto. Matt opted for the egg, I went without. Both outstanding. Tyler also calls for shaving some black truffles over the finished risotto. Um, really? I can’t exactly find those at my local grocery store, awesome though it is. I can, however, find black truffle butter, so I melted some into the finished risotto and imparted the flavor. He says you can also drizzle some truffle oil at the last minute. Enjoy!
1 bunch asparagus, bottoms trimmed
2 tbs EVOO
Fresh cracked black pepper
3 tbs unsalted butter
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
6 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Poached eggs, if desired
Truffles, or truffle butter, or truffle oil
Fill a large skillet with water and salt it generously. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add half the asparagus and blanch for 1 minute. Immediately remove to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Transfer the blanched asparagus to a blender and puree with a splash of water for 1 to 2 minutes or until smooth. Toss the remaining asparagus with EVOO, salt and pepper. Preheat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and saute until nicely cooked and charred to your desire.
Melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook slowly until the onions are translucent, about 10 minutes. In a separate pot, heat the broth, but don’t boil it. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice and toast for 2 to 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it’s completely absorbed by the rice. Begin to add the hot broth to the rice a ladle-full at a time, making sure the liquid has been totally absorbed each time. Cook, stirring frequently, until all the broth has been used and the rice is creamy but with a slight bite to it. You don’t want it to be mush. Stir in the cheese, season with salt and pepper, and add the truffle butter at this time if using. Stir in the asparagus puree.
To serve, mound some risotto in a bowl, then top with a few spears of asparagus. If using the eggs, gently arranged the poached egg on top of the risotto. If using truffles, shave some on now. If using truffle oil, drizzle some on now. Enjoy!