How to Make Asparagus Risotto

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 23,204
    Chef Rob Carson demonstrates how to make Italian style risotto with asparagus!

    Rob Carson: Hi guys once again my name is Rob Carson, I am a radio Announcer and I cook. My goal of these videos is quite simple, to bring family, friends, and fellow foodies together in the kitchen, and also to demystify things that you might be afraid to try otherwise. Today we are making risotto.

    Now you can do a lot of different things with risotto. Its a broad palette that you can paint on. Its like pasta you can add all sort of stuff to pasta, you can add all sort of stuff to pizza everything from potato to pepperoni. Today we are risotto verdi which is also known asparagus risotto okay. Now, this looks a little more complicated than it is but basically its fairly simply.

    We have got some nice asparagus, we have got Arborio rice which is risotto rice, we have got some parmigiana cheese nicely shredded, butter. I have got two saut pans going, one for some additional asparagus that I am to caramelize and another saut pan that I am going to use actually to cook the risotto in. We need a pan to blanch our asparagus in. We need a large bowl with some ice water in it to cool the asparagus. We need a one spoon preferably and thats about it.

    So the first thing I am going to do guys I am going to double up this recipe. I am going to take about seven or eight nice stalks of this asparagus. Now these are big stalks of asparagus. I have cut about two inches off them because I want to get to the tender asparagus. I am going to blanch this real quick. It is going to be a little longer than a typical blanch just because it is so thick, so thick that it is -- so I am going to drop in there, I am going to give it normally with a blanch you just set in there for 10-15 seconds then take it out.

    I am going to leave this in for closer to about a minute again because it is thick. I am going turn on this back burner with additional asparagus and what I did I took the smaller ends of the asparagus for this and I am going just cook this up a little bit on a medium heat and its going to start to kind of brown little bit and become really tender. We are going to add that for texture at the end here.

    With the blanched asparagus we are actually going to puree it and what it will do is not only flavor the risotto, its also going to add really cool color, especially if like green. My asparagus has been blanched. I am going to take the smaller ones out here and then I am just going to drop them in this ice water. What this does -- it stops the cooking process it also preserves the crispness of the asparagus and you are going to wonder why I did that in a minute because I am just going to basically puree it, but I dont want mushy asparagus like the stuff you get in the can. One of the things that I learned as a fry cook at a truck stop in Iowa on Interstate-80 was how to get things done at the same time. Have multiple pans going and you have to get it done all at the same time, everything hot. Any good chef knows thats obviously the way you got to do it, but working in a truck stop helped me, believe it or not.

    Alright so now I got my asparagus starting to brown, do you see that? I am going to bring my heat down. Just let it sit here for another minute or two and like I said we wanted to caramelize it a little bit. Over here I have got a tablespoon of olive oil and some chopped garlic. I am going to let this heat up a little up then I am going to add my Arborio rice. There we go, I get my garlic going. I am going to add two cups of Arborio rice this is a big batch, you can cut it in half if you like. I am going to let this brown a little bit then I am going to add some wine. Well thats cooking, I think this is about done and I am going to add this at the very end again for texture.

    Alright, its getting little sticky so I am going go ahead and add about half cup of wine. Now Id bring my heat down to medium and I am going to let the wine kind of cook off and what that does is intensifies the flavor. Its like doing a wine reduction. So you are going to have an instance wine flavor, but all the alcohol is going to go away, most of it anyway. While this is happening I am going to take my blanched asparagus and put it in my food processor. Now it is still fairly crisp and I am going to make puree out of this. Okay, we have a nice asparagus puree. Now this is a little coarse, kind of like my personality. If you want it really fine use it once.

    Alright, so my wine is pretty much cooked off. Now I am going to start adding chicken broth. Now generally, when it comes to Arborio rice and broth, you are going about three times the volume of the broth as you would rice. I have got two cups of rice, so I am going to do at least six cups of broth and we are going to add a little bit at a time. Okay, not all at once, you dont want all at once, you let it absorb gradually, you keep adding. Now see how this is getting creamy, see how this started to thicken. Good go get and add some more broth. As this cooks and you are going to cooking this for probably 20 to 30 minutes, but as it cooks check periodically take a grain out and if its al dente, then obviously you can stop adding the broth. You dont want to add too much broth and make risotto soup. So add broth about a couple of time until you get to the desired consistency.

    Okay guys now this has been going for about 20 minutes to half an hour, it has been while and it has absorbed a lot of chicken broth. Again I have started with two cups of Arborio rice, I have added about seven cups of chicken broth and I am going to go ahead and taste this real quick here. It is al dente. Its got a little bit of crispness to it, its not mushy. I am going take some of my puree out of the asparagus and I am going add. I am not going to add all of it. This is going to add some color and its also going to infuse the risotto with asparagus flavor. There we go. Lets get my caramelized asparagus out of here and add it. I dont want to use all that oil thats in there so try and avoid that, then the piece de resistance, the cheese, and the butter.

    This is all coming together. Now, I am going to bring my heat down to fairly low because I really dont want it to cook anymore. Okay cheese, I have got about a cup and a half here and as far as I am concerned, go crazy with the cheese because its awesome. There you go.

    Now I want to finish with a little bit of butter, just little. Go about two teaspoons- boom. Add that, melt my butter in there. This is so good. Alright guys there we go. Thats risotto verdi also known as asparagus risotto. Its not as hard you thought it was, is it? Yeah it is pretty easy you can serve this is a side on a palate, plated with whatever you decide maybe grilled shrimp or grilled scallops or even you know a steak it works perfectly and it is also great by itself as well.

    Risotto verdi, enjoy it.