April 5, 2008

Baked Asparagus Risotto - No Stirring!

Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is one of those dishes that I find particularly easy. I've made it so many times that it's kind of like second nature. And I love its versatility.
There is always some sort of vegetable or leftover meat lurking in the back of the fridge or freezer that I can mix with pearly, fat grains of arborio rice, hot stock and Parmesan to make a hearty meal.

The one thing about risotto is that you have to stand there and stir. And stir.
For about 30 minutes.
Sometimes this can be tedious. Especially when there are more interesting things to do. Like laugh at celebrities on gofugyourself.com read up on world events or study French.

So to give myself more time to be studious and worldly, I have a baked risotto recipe that cuts the amount of time in front of the stove by about two thirds.

The texture is a bit different that stovetop risotto. The grains are softer, not as al dente, but the flavor is wonderful!

Baked Asparagus Risotto
  • 8 ounces/250g thick, smoky bacon, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons/25g butter plus 1 tablespoon/12g
  • 10 ounces/300g risotto rice
  • 8 ounces/ 250g fresh asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup/125ml of white wine (optional)
  • 3 cups/700ml hot chicken stock
  • pinch salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup/50g Parmesan cheese, grated
Heat oven to 200C/400F
Fry the bacon pieces in an ovenproof pan or casserole dish with a lid for 3-5 minutes until crisp.
Stir in the onion and 2 tablespoons/25g butter and cook for 3-4 minutes until soft.
Add the rice and stir for a minute or two, until all the grains are coated.
Pour in the optional white wine and cook for 2 minutes, until absorbed.
Add the hot stock, the salt and the asparagus pieces, then give it all a quick stir.
Cover with a tight fitting lid and bake for 20-30 minutes, until just cooked.
Stir in half of the Parmesan and remaining butter.
Serve, sprinkled with the remainder of the cheese and pass the pepper mill.

Serves 4

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Allen said...

This sounds wonderfully easy! Thanks for sharing the tip.

Betty Carlson said...

This one is bookmarked! I love risotto too, but the stirring does get tedious (although I have learned that stirring constantly is not really necessary...)

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

This is a Risitto for me...love Asparagus:-)

Kate said...

I make my risotto in a pressure cooker--no stirring at all. Try crab with the asparagus in the risotto. Deeelish!

Jennifer said...

You're welcome!

I hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
No, stirring constantly isn't totally necessary, but this was much easier!

Me too. We're eating a lot of it right now.

I've never heard of pressure cooker risotto. That sounds really easy!
Thanks for the crab idea.

Betty Carlson said...

I'm making this for lunch today, as we speak!

It is going to be something of a spring lunch, even though the temperatures have dropped since yesterday (grrr..)

I want to make up for our snowy Easter!

BTW, I just realized that I did not have you sidebarred! So I just did that: Chez Loulou on FP and Like to Cook (which I didn't even know about) on CQ. Sorry about that! Increasingly I have just been putting blogs on Google Reader and not dealing with my sidebars as much as I should.

Bon dimanche!

Betty Carlson said...

PS: I love the "pour in the optional white wine" line in the recipe.

Donna said...

That's so funny, I made risotto with asparagus last night for dinner and then I see this post today. Great minds think alike!

Jennifer said...

it got cooler here today too.
Thanks for adding me to your sidebar!
How was the risotto?

Well, you could either add the wine to the risotto or drink it. :)

Yes, our great minds think alike!
We are eating tons of asparagus right now. So damn good!

Betty Carlson said...

The risotto was absolutely delicious and you will have changed my life by teaching me this cooking method! I love risotto and also love oven cooking, so I will probably never stir for 20 minutes again!

Jennifer said...

I'm so pleased that you liked it so much!
Thanks for letting me know.

winedeb said...

This is great!!! Many times I just skip making risotto because I do not want to stand and stir! I am doing this one! Thanks!

Jennifer said...

That is often my problem too. I look in the cupboard, see the risotto rice and think, no...not in the mood.

Katie Zeller said...

I never stir my risotto constantly - and it's always wonderful... Thick and creamy!
It's a myth put out by chefs....

Jennifer said...

How could they!


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Just to say...following you on Twitter now, and putyourflareon..

Got my aparagus for risotto :-)

Jennifer said...

I'll have to add you to my follow list!
Hope you like the risotto.

Linda said...

I made your rissoto and it was fabulous. It will be served to many people in the years to come. My only problem was that all of the liquid wasn't absorbed in 18 minutes. I've since been told that I should just stir it and put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes.

Jennifer said...

I'm happy to hear that you liked the risotto!
Giving it an extra 5 minutes won't hurt. Every oven is different, so just adjust the time for yours.

Dazy said...

I'm making this for dinner tonight. I think I'll try to shoot it, but I don't think it will be as pretty as your picture!

Jennifer said...

Hope you like it as much as we did. Enjoy!

Jocelyn Vallesfin said...

Your photographs are breathtaking! (Yes, I know that 'breathless' is usually a word to describe landscape photographs, but that's exactly how I feel...)

Jennifer said...

Merci Jocelyn!