What: Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
Where: The Art of Simple Food
Who: Alice Waters
I forgot to photograph this cozy dish when I pulled it off the stove because I was about to feed a few hungry men and there was no time for pictures! The above photo was taken the next day and the greens had lost their vibrant color. But when it was fresh and hot, it was luscious and glistening and bright.
Risotto is made with arborio rice, and when it’s finished it is creamy and tender with a firm core. It truly is a fitting recipe for Spring: warming for those cold breezes but verdant and refreshing.
As with a soup, the leftovers tasted even more delicious, and it was easily reheated. I added a handful of fresh asparagus stems to the pan, covered it, and heated the rice and veg together until the asparagus was brilliantly green and just tender.
Waters calls for the juice and zest of 1 lemon. After tasting, this amount was not lemony enough for me, since it had to compete with the (delicious) white wine, chicken broth, and parmesan. So I increased the amount to the zest of 2 lemons and the juice of 1.5 (or 2 if small).
After each addition of hot broth (1/2 cup at a time, always stirring) I also added a good pinch of salt.
The recipe uses 1 pound of asparagus, which is about 1 bunch. I used my green 6-Quart Lodge Enameled Cast Iron Dutch Oven.