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Risotto with Morels and Asparagus June 28, 2008

Posted by pcorcoran in Entree, Mushrooms, Recipe, Risotto, Veggies.
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2 cups dried arborio rice (risotto)
1/2 lb. fresh morel mushrooms
1/2 lb. asparagus
5 cups vegetable stock
1 tsp. fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 cup dry white wine
2 cups boiling water
4 tbsp. butter
2 tbsp. olive oil
1 cup grated Reggiano

Pour boiling water over morels and stir gently.  Set mushrooms and liquid aside covered, for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.  Remove mushrooms from liquid broth with a slotted spoon, reserving liquid.  Pat mushrooms dry, chop into quarters lengthwise, and set aside.  Remove grit and solids from the broth, straining through a cheesecloth if necessary.  Set broth aside.

While mushrooms are soaking, cut asparagus in half lengthwise, then slice into 1/2 inch pieces on the diagonal.  Bring a small pot of lightly salted water to a boil.  Blanche asparagus in boiling water for 4 minutes.  Drain.  Run cold water over asparagus until cool to the touch and set aside.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large heavy stock pot over high heat.  When foam subsides, add shallot and thyme.  Saute for several minutes.  Chop finely 1 clove of garlic.  Add morels and chopped garlic, and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add asparagus and mix well.  Transfer contents of stock pot to a bowl and set aside, covered.

Deglaze stock pot with 1/2 cup white wine.  Add mushroom stock to pot and bring to a boil.  Add vegetable stock and 2 cloves coarsely sliced garlic.  Bring liquid to a boil, reduce to a simmer and keep covered.

Heat olive oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over high heat.  Add arborio rice and stir well.  Add 1/2 cup white wine and stir until absorbed.  Reduce heat to medium.  Add 1 cup stock and stir until absorbed.  Cover.  Add another cup of broth every minute or two, stirring to ensure an even coating, then replace cover.  Repeat until risotto is tender and creamy, about 20 to 25 minutes.  (Some broth may be left over.)

Melt 2 tablespoons in a medium skillet over medium-high heat.  Add mushroom and asparagus mixture and heat it just until it bubbles slightly.  Pour mixture into risotto and mix well.  Stir in Reggiano cheese and serve immediately.

Time to Prepare: 90 minutes

Difficulty: 4/10

Serves: 6 to 8 people

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