Risotto With Asparagus- WHB

For my Weekend Herb Blogging entry
hosted this week by Scott from RealEpicurean,
parsley is the herb and risotto is the dish.

You know that little wreath often pictured on Hercules head?
It is parsley man! Funny…. It usually looks like
bay leaves to me.

The herb was associated with strength to the
ancient Greeks. Workhorse.. (where have I heard that before?)

Because of parsleys high chlorophyll content it is a great breath
freshener and will even neutralize the smell of garlic.

This is a Weight Watcher risotto. I’m not sure but I believe risotto is suppose to
“flow” a little more than this did. I could have added more of the stock
but it tasted good to me. I used more parmigiana cheese than this calls for,
quite a bit more. I also added more parsley.

I thought the parsley might keep me away from the breath mints.

Risotto With Asparagus- 3 points

3 1/4 cups water
3/4 cup defatted chicken broth
8 ounces fresh asparagus spears — trimmed ,and
cut diagonally into 1″ pieces
1/2 cup grated carrots
3/4 cup Arborio rice
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper —
or more to taste

In a medium saucepan, combine the water and broth.
Cover and bring to a boil over high heat. Add the asparagus,
return to a boil and cook, uncovered, for 2 to 3 minutes, or until
crisp-tender. Add the carrots and cook for 2 to 3 seconds longer.
Remove the asparagus and carrots from the liquid with a small strainer.
Cool the vegetables under cold running water and set aside.

Reduce the heat under the broth mixture so it is just simmering.
In a medium, heavy saucepan, combine the rice and oil. Place the pan
over medium-high heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes
, or until some of the grains of rice turn golden.

Reduce the heat under the rice to medium. Add a big ladleful of the
broth mixture to the rice and bring to a boil. Cook, stirring
frequently, for 1 to 3 minutes, or until the liquid is nearly absorbed.
Repeat the process with most of the remaining broth mixture,
adding a ladleful at a time, until the rice is creamy and al dente,
and the liquid is nearly absorbed (this will take about 15 minutes).

Stir the asparagus and carrots into the rice, and cook for
1 to 2 minutes, or just until heated through. Remove the pan from the
heat and stir in the Parmesan, parsley, salt and black pepper.

This recipe yields 4 servings.

Comments: Risotto is often served as a first course in Italy;
and even a little “tasting” portion of this dish is flavorful.
The rice is prepared quite differently from the standard American
method: Rather than cooking it in a covered pot of boiling water,
you add hot liquid a little at a time, stirring all the while.
Stop adding the broth when the rice is just al dente; don’t worry
if a little broth is left over.

Market and Pantry: The traditional rice for risotto is short-grained,
starchy Italian Arborio, which, when cooked, turns creamy on
the outside while remaining al dente within. Arborio is the generic
name; you’ll find the rice sold under various brand names in Italian
markets and gourmet shops.


10 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Katie
    Jan 19, 2007 @ 11:36:33

    Risotto is sooo good. (I just did a post on it, too)
    I make Asparagus Risotto in the spring – when I can get asparagus…
    I make it in some form a couple of times a month – and you don’t have to stir constantly, just often… I think that was a myth perpetuated by chefs to keep it away from us amateurs…
    Your’s looks lovely and makes me anxious for spring!


  2. Jeff
    Jan 19, 2007 @ 11:51:41

    Defatted chicken broth…that is a good idea


  3. Glenna
    Jan 19, 2007 @ 14:38:36

    Beautiful and healthy too, now that’s a winning combination! Thanks for inspiring me.


  4. sher
    Jan 20, 2007 @ 03:52:22

    That’s a wonderful photo! It looks scrumptious! Risotto is one of my favorite meals, but I’ve never had it with asparagus.


  5. cookingandrecipereviews
    Jan 21, 2007 @ 18:35:10

    Risotto is a wonderful meal that I wish less people were frightened off. This looks delicious, and sounds it as well. I remember Giada on the Food Network making a risotto with asparagus last year now but hers was less on health side with crisped pancetta on the top.


  6. Trackback: Weekend Herb Blogging #66 Roundup from RealEpicurean.com
  7. Kalyn
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 00:57:50

    The photo is just fantastic. It looks so delicious. I’ve never made risotto. (I’m certainly noticing lately that there are a lot of things I’ve never made!)


  8. Ulrike aka ostwestwind
    Jan 22, 2007 @ 06:58:04



  9. Ros
    Jan 24, 2007 @ 09:10:56

    I love risotto. The last one I made was with stilton and wild mushroom.

    Your comment about the different cooking methods reminded me of a couple of Italian girls I knew, who were a bit too proud of their country’s culinary heritage. One day, they came home and their flatmate was boiling some rice. They were horrified! They called him a backwards peasant among other things for not cooking rice the ‘proper’ way.

    Poor guy tried to explain that risotto wouldn’t really go with the chicken tikka masala he was cooking, but they didn’t quite get understand.

    Incidentally, if you ever try eating boiled arborio rice, you’ll see why the Italians invented risotto. It’s like eating little pieces of wax!


  10. coffeepot
    Jan 24, 2007 @ 20:16:12

    Thanks for the nice comments all.

    Ros, I have never eaten it boiled. I would like to try the baked but it would seem difficult.


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