Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Asparagus and Parsnip Risotto

Risotto is such a GREAT dish if you have the patience, and want an EXCELLENT result! 

Asparagus is full of Vitamin K, A, C and Folate and very healthy for your heart. Parnsips are a sweeter and wider version of carrots but delicious, containing Vitamin C, Calcium and Iron. Adding the Parmesan gives you the needed protein and the carbs from the rice will give you the energy from the day. An overall great dish alongside a light salad.  You can't go wrong with something as versatile as risotto!

Here is my newest addition to our in-home dinner date night menu that is healthy, hearty and completely delicious.

Risotto with Asparagus and Parsnips
Serves 3-4
Slightly adapted from Mario Batali

In the line up!

• 1/2 pound asparagus, rough ends removed 
• 4 cups vegetable stock
• 1 medium/large parsnip
• 4 tablespoons olive oil 
• 1 medium onion, diced 
• 1 1/2 cups rice, Arborio 
• 4 tablespoons butter/margarine (I typically use heart healthy margarine to cut out the unnecessary fat here)
• 3/4 cup grated Parmesan 
• 1 bunch basil, finely chopped to yield 1/4 cup (use less if dry basil)

Coach's Orders!

1. Measure 4 quarts of vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Add asparagus stalk and parsnips and 2 tablespoons salt. 

2. Set up ice bath next to the pot. Blanch asparagus and parsnips for 1 minute, place in an ice bath and keep the broth cooking water until later. 

3. In the meantime, Place a nonstick pan over medium with olive oil and add diced onion . Cook over medium heat until softened but not browned. 

4. Add Arborio rice and, stirring constantly for about 1-2 minutes. Add extra vegetable broth until it covers the rice. Turn the heat up to high, stirring constantly, and cook the rice until the liquid level goes below the level of the rice. Continue adding the warms vegetable stock as the rice plumps up, 1 ladle at a time, to maintain the liquid level above the rice for 15-20 minutes. 

5. Drain asparagus and chop into 1-inch pieces. Once rice is cooked, add asparagus and parsnips to rice and cook until rice is soft but still al dente. Remove from heat, add butter, Parmesan and fresh or dry basil and stir through for a great meal!

^^^ Photo quality gets an F ^^^

Serve warm and a nice salad added a perfect crunch to a crazily flavorful meal!


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