Asparagus and Lemon Risotto

From The Art of Simple Food by Alice Waters

  1. Remove the ends of the asparagus, then cut the spears diagonally into 1/4 inch pieces.
  2. Remove the zest from 1 lemon. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice.
  3. Melt 2 tablespoons butter in heavy-bottomed 2-1/2 to 3-quart saucepan.
  4. Add diced onion into butter and cook until soft and translucent, approximately 10 minutes.
  5. Add the rice, stirring until translucent, about 4 minutes—don't let it brown.
  6. In a separate pan, bring to a boil 5 cups of chicken broth, then turn off.
  7. Add the lemon zest into the sauteed rice, stir, then add 1/2 cup dry white wine. Cook, stirring often, until all of the wine is absorbed by the rice.
  8. Add 1 cup of the broth and cook, stirring continuously. As the rice thickens, add the broth 1/2 cup at a time. Continue to add broth in 1/2 cup increments until all the broth is absorbed. Don't let the rice dry out.
  9. After approximately 12 minutes, stir in the prepared asparagus. Continue to cook 20-30 minutes, until the rice is tender but still firm.
  10. Add half the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of butter, and 1/3 cup Parmesan cheese. Stir vigorously.
  11. Remove from heat. Allow the risotto to sit uncovered for a few minutes prior to serving.
  12. If rice thickens too much, add a splash of broth and stir.