Mushroom Asparagus Risotto
Risotto. The word sounds so elegant. When I was young and we would visit my grandparents, my Grandfather always picked through the rice. I always wondered what he was picking out. One day my grandmother said it was little stones.
7 cups lower-salt chicken or vegetable broth
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1-1/4 cups minced shallots
2 tsp. minced garlic
7 oz. white, cremini, oyster, or portobello mushrooms, stemmed, cleaned, and coarsely chopped (2 cups)
12-1/4 oz. (1-3/4 cups) Turkish baldo rice or Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
6 oz. medium asparagus spears (about 10), trimmed and cut on the diagonal into 1-inch pieces (1 cup)
1 oz. Pecorino Romano or Parmigiano-Reggiano, finely grated (1 cup using a rasp grater)
Freshly ground black pepper
Put the broth in a 3-quart saucepan, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil over high heat; lower the heat to maintain a simmer.
Heat the oil in a wide, heavy-duty 5- to 6-quart pot over medium-high heat. Add the shallots, lower the heat to medium, and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened and translucent, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring, until softened and fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the mushrooms, raise the heat to high, and cook, stirring frequently, until softened, about 2 minutes.
Lower the heat to medium, add the rice, and cook, stirring often, until the rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
Add the wine and cook, stirring, until most of it is absorbed, about 30 seconds.
Stir about 1-1/2 cups of the simmering broth into the rice. Lower the heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the broth is absorbed, about 1 minute. Add another 1-1/2 cups broth and cook, stirring frequently, until most of it is absorbed, about 3 minutes.
Repeat the process once or twice more, tasting the rice every few minutes after the third broth addition until it’s just shy of firm to the bite but without a crunchy center, about 12 minutes after the first addition of broth.
Stir in the asparagus and 1 cup broth. Cover, lower the heat to the low, and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender and the rice is tender but with some resistance, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and fold in the cheese.
Cover and let stand for 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and serve right away, sprinkled with black pepper.