Saturday, June 07, 2008

Vidalia-Asparagus Risotto with Beet Stock

When we get fresh beets as part of our CSA share, I rarely get to do anything with them, because they are eaten (by the others in the household!) as fast as I can cook them. And while I save the beet greens for other dishes, I also am sure to put the cooking water through a coffee filter and use for stock. This risotto is a great match for the stock.

In a sturdy 3 quart put, heat a Tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on medium heat. Saut
é 2 chopped Vidalia onions and ½ pound asparagus spears, bottoms snapped off and cut into 1½" pieces. Continue to cook until the onions are tender.

Meanwhile, put about a quart of beet stock on to simmer on a burner nearby.

Add one cup of Arborio rice to the vegetables, and sauté for another minute. Begin adding the stock to the rice, ½ cup at a time, until the rice is tender. Stir continually as the stock is absorbed. The beautiful magenta color of the stock will fade as it cooks, alas, but the rich flavor does not diminish.

When ready, serve immediately and add grated cheese (we like Pecorino Romano) at the table.

A variation of this risosotto (when fresh asparagus is unavailable) substitutes mushrooms for theasparagus. In this case, cook until most of the liquid from the mushrooms is evaporated before adding the rice.

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