Sincerely Carolina

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Goat Cheese Asparagus Risotto — Yes, Please!

by caroline

Happy afternoon!

Dan’s physical therapy went well and the woman who is helping his said he had the best post-op knee she has ever soon. Woot, woot!

We just got home now, and I am delivering to you this delish recipe Dan made last night. Dan based his recipe on Jamie Oliver’s Asparagus, Mint and Lemon recipe in his book, COOK with Jamie: My Guide to Making You a Better Cook. Dan’s version is completely gluten free and vegetarian (see our classifications here), and it makes a great addition to our Fakin’ It recipes!

This recipe is ideally made on a night when you have time to spend a relaxing evening in the kitchen, sipping wine and taking the time to properly prepare this dish, seeing as how it requires constant attention. It works nicely as a side or served on its own as the main course. Dan had his risotto paired with a prosciutto and provolone stuffed chicken breast, and I ate the risotto as my one-and-only dish. It’s your choice! Here it is:

Goat Cheese Asparagus Risotto

Serves 2-4 people (2 as a main dish; 4 as a side)

Ingredients:

  • 32 oz. gluten-free vegetable broth
  • 2 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 5 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup of onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup celery, finely chopped
  • 1 cup white arborio rice (We use Lundberg Farms.)
  • 6 oz. dry white wine, plus 1/4 cup
  • 1 bunch of asparagus, ends removed
  • 1/2 Tbsp of nutmeg
  • zest of lemon
  • 1/4 cup chopped mint leaves
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
  • juice of a 1/4 to 1/2 a lemon
  • pepper, as desired
  • olive oil, as desired
  • goat cheese, as desired

Directions:

1. Heat broth in a medium sauce pan until steaming, not boiling.

2. Preheat another medium sauce pan or 12” skillet over low heat with 1 Tbsp. butter and olive oil. Add onions and celery and cook about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to make sure they become soft and translucent. In the meantime, chop heads off of asparagus, and cut the remaining portions of the stalks into discs. Chop mint and zest lemon, and set aside.

3. Turn up the heat (medium-high) on the skillet and add rice, stirring constantly, so the rice does not stick (about 3 minutes). Pour in 6 oz. of wine. When wine has evaporated, turn the heat back to low.

4. Begin to add the stock/broth from the separate pot, one ladle at a time, to the skillet mixture. Stir constantly. Wait until most of the liquid has reduced before adding another ladle. Continue this process for about 15 minutes or until the rice is soft on the outside and still a bit hard on the inside (there will be stock/broth remaining). (Do this by trying a piece of the rice — make sure it’s cool!) Cooking the rice too slow will cause it to turn to mush; too fast and it will burn and be dry.

5. Add 1/2 of the remaining stock/broth and 1/4 cup of white wine. (You should be through a little more than 1/2 the stock by now.) Turn the heat up to medium. Add asparagus and nutmeg. Wait until most of the stock has been absorbed before reducing heat. Repeat the process in step #4 where you add stock/broth one ladle at a time. Continue with the process until the rice is loose and just soft all the way through.

6. Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, 4 Tbsp. of butter and 3/4 of chopped mint and lemon zest. Add a squeeze of lemon juice. Garnish with the rest of the mint and zest, pepper as desired and goat cheese. You will just flake the goat cheese on top of the dish, adding the amount of your choice. But don’t overdo it — this is a rich cheese. Add a drizzle of olive oil on top to finish.

Voila!

Note: This is a gluten-free recipe. (If you have allergies or food sensitivities, always check specific manufacturer’s products for allergens and/or cross-contamination issues.)