Every few days I step outside and think it must be spring. The earth must think the same thing because early spring varieties like Meyer Lemon, Asparagus and Artichokes are already being harvested. I have been working in organic agriculture now for over fifteen years and I have never seen these things peaking so early. It’s a nice surprise after last winter!
Love, love, love this combination! Risotto is traditionally made using a starchy short grain rice such as Aroborio, Carnaroli, Vialone, Nano, and Baldoroborio, Carnaroli, Vialone, Nano, and Baldo. Years ago I had a great source for bulk Aroborio and tried every Risotto recipe I could get my hands on or mind around. Then rice prices dramatically increased and that resource didn’t make much sense for the quantity we use. Since then these varieties seem more difficult to find especially if you are looking for Organic Grown. I have frequently substituted different rice options such as the Basmati White Rice and our favorite Pearled Farro. These options yield a less creamy result, but still provide a delicious whole food dish brimming with nutrients.
If you choose to substitute another grain you may need to add more water. Arborio absorbs less water than most grains. The parmesan cheese at the end is optional, but I always include it. My favorite is the ParmRomano by our own local Ballard Cheese. You can find all of the ingredients for this recipe on our web site excluding the salt and pepper.
Asparagus & Meyer Lemon Risotto
Asparagus: Heat oven to 425 degrees. Place the butter in a large baking sheet. Trim Asparagus and add to pan. Thinly slice the Meyer Lemon and add to pan. Toss to coat with oil/butter mixture. Spread evenly in pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Roast until slightly softened, 5-15 minutes depending on thickness of asparagus stalk.
Risotto: Heat a large saucepan over medium high heat, add the olive oil, then the shallots, and cook stirring until translucent. Add the rice and stir until the grains turn white or about four minutes. Add the stock and stir frequently until absorbed. Add the asparagus to the risotto. Continue to cook a few minutes until risotto is well moistened but rice is al-dente. Add lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with parmesan cheese if desired.
Rachel for Brown Box