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Asparagus and Yellow Pepper Risotto Recipe


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     Asparagus and Yellow Pepper Risotto

Category   Entrees - Maindishes
Sub Category   Vegetarian

1 ¼ lbs medium-size asparagus
5 - to 5 1/2 cups Vegetable Broth homemade or canned
1 large firm yellow bell pepper, halved, cored, seeded, de-ribbed, and cut into 1 inch long strips
2 tsp olive oil
1/3 cup minced onion
¼ cup finely chopped celery, strings removed before chopping
½ cup dry white wine
1 1/3 cups Arborio rice (risotto rice)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ cup snipped fresh chives for garnish
8 tsp freshly grated mellow Asiago Cheese (I substitute parmesan cheese often)

Wash asparagus several times in cold water to remove sand. Using a sharp knife, cut off woody ends at base of spears. With a vegetable peeler, peel stalks from the base of the spear up, leaving tips intact. Slice stalks diagonally into i-inch lengths; reserve tips.
In a 4-quart saucepan, bring broth to a boil over medium high heat. Add sliced asparagus stalks and cook until barely tender, about 2 minutes. Add the asparagus tips and bell pepper; continue cooking until tender, about 2 to 3 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer vegetables to a bowl. Keep broth at a bare simmer over low heat.
In a heavy 5-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-low heat. Add onion and celery. Sauté, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until tender-crisp, about 2 minutes. (If vegetables start to stick to bottom of pan, add 2 tablespoons broth to prevent scorch¬ing.) Add the rice and 1/2 cup broth. Cook, stirring constantly, until rice is opaque and well coated. Add the wine and cook mixture, stirring constantly, until all the wine has been absorbed, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup broth and cook, stirring constantly, until all the liquid has been absorbed. Watch carefully so the rice does not ,tick to bottom of pan.
Add more broth, 1 cup at a time, stirring constantly and cooking the mixture until all the liquid is absorbed after each addition. After 5 cups of broth have been added, the rice should be tender and have a creamy consistency. Test by tasting a few grains; it should be soft on the outside and a bit chewy on the inside. If necessary, add the remaining 1/2 cup broth and cook in the same manner until rice is tender. Total cooking time will be ap¬proximately 20 to 25 minutes. Stir in the asparagus and pepper strips; simmer the risotto, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are heated through, about 30 seconds. Remove from heat, transfer to individual bowls, and garnish each with 1 tablespoon snipped chives. Serve with Asiago cheese.

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