This was the perfect recipe to use up all of the fresh asparagus I bought at the market.
Risotto is the ultimate comfort food- rich, creamy, carby, cheesy, and all in one dish- yet fancy enough to make you feel like you're eating in a restaurant. I did use farro, though, instead of traditional arborio rice, to make it a tad more interesting (and nutritious).
Adapted from Alexandra's Kitchen.
6 cups chicken stock (could substitute vegetable) (Homemade or low-sodium)
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter, room temperature
1/2 a medium onion, very finely minced
1 1/4 cups semi-pearled farro (could substitute arborio rice or barley)
1/2 cup dry white wine
kosher or sea salt
1 pound asparagus, washed, dried, and trimmed, cut into one inch pieces
3/4 cup grated Reggiano Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup toasted, crushed/chopped hazelnuts
1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
Step 1Put all of the chicken (or veg) stock in a saucepan over low heat. (It should maintain a warm, not hot, temperature).
Step 2In a separate medium saucepan, heat your 2 tablespoons olive oil and 1 tablespoon of your butter over medium heat. Once hot, add your minced onion plus a pinch of salt. Cook until soft, 3-5 minutes.
Step 3Add the farro and cook, stirring occasionally, until glossy, 2-3 minutes. Add the white wine, stir, and cook until it evaporates away. Add a hefty pinch of salt.
Step 4Now, you begin to add the stock. Add the warm stock about a 1/2 cup at a time (I used a large ladle). Stir occasionally. Once the stock has mostly evaporated, add more. Repeat as needed.
Step 5After 15 minutes, add your asparagus pieces. Continue to add stock when necessary. After 5 minutes, taste the risotto. The grains should be tender, but not mushy- they should still have a bit of a bite. (This could take up to 30 minutes to reach).
Step 6Once the risotto has the right consistency, remove the pan from the heat and stir in your grated cheese, hazelnuts, parsley, and remaining butter. Adjust seasoning if necessary. Plate it up in shallow dishes, and garnish with some extra cheese, hazelnuts, and/or parsley. Serve with the rest of that white wine you used earlier- or cold Italian sparkling water, and some crusty Italian bread.