Asparagus Lemon Risotto

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My brother-in-law Russell (Rochester, NY) was staying with friends in Kansas and his hosts Fred and Julia (Lawrence, Kansas) made this risotto —delicious!

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Asparagus Lemon Risotto

Serves 4

Risotto is a great base for all kinds of vegetables. It’s done when it has a loose consistency and ripples when spooned into a bowl.

6 cups vegetable stock, preferably homemade [Russell used chicken stock]
¼ cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio or Carnanti rice
½ cup dry white wine
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, stalks cut into 2-inch lengths
1 cup thawed frozen peas
1 tsp grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
2 Tbs fresh lemon juice
1 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, plus more for serving

Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.

Heat 2 Tbs oil over medium heat in another saucepan. Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, 6 to 7 minutes. Add rice; cook, stirring, until edges are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.

Add ½ cup hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. Continue adding ½ stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 20 minutes total (you may not need to add all the stock). Add asparagus with the last addition of stock, and the peas about 1 minutes before risotto is done.

Remove from heat; stir in lemon zest and juice, parsley, cheese, and remaining 2 Tbs oil. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately with additional cheese and lemon zest.

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