Spring is to be celebrated, and lemon asparagus risotto is the meal to do it with.
- 5 cups vegetable stock divided
- 1 lb thin asparagus stalks, ends removed
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter
- 2 large leeks, sliced (about 3 cups total)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
- 2/3 cup dry white wine
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- Pinch of red pepper flakes
- 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tsp lemon zest
- tbsp fresh lemon juice
- ½ cup soft cheese like ricotta
- 1 cup (4 oz) grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, divided
- Bring stock to a simmer in a medium-sized saucepan .Slice asparagus into pieces about 2 inches in length.
- In a large saucepan, melt butter on medium heat. Add sliced leeks and saute for about 8-10 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
- Stir in rice and cook for about 2 minutes to toast the rice. Stir in white wine and cook until about half of the wine is absorbed, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add 1 cup warmed stock and stir, making sure to scrape up any browned pieces, or fond, from the bottom of the pan.
- Once most of the liquid has been absorbed, after about 3-5 minutes, add another cup of stock. Continue to stir constantly until the liquid is absorbed. Repeat this step once more. Add the asparagus to the pan when most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Add another cup of stock, and stir in the salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Give the risotto a few stirs, and check the rice for doneness. If the rice isn’t done, add the final cup of stock and continue to cook until liquid is absorbed and rice is cooked through.
- Stir in parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, and half of the grated cheese. Gently fold in ricotta. Spoon into bowls and sprinkle with the remaining Parmigiano Reggiano and a grind of fresh black pepper.
- Serve immediately.