Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Dish | Risotto with Shrimp & Asparagus

What a perfect day yesterday turned out to be. It's June-Gloom around here - or "2nd winter" - and I was craving some sunshine. If it's cold in San Francisco you can usually count on it being warm everywhere else. I spent the afternoon at Stinson Beach with Henry and Alyssa. Stinson is roughly 30 minutes north of San Francisco and it's a picture-perfect little beach town nestled in a beautiful valley surrounded by hills and wildflowers. Warm weather, good friends, and the breeze on the beach inspired me to make this comforting dish for dinner.


5 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 pound asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 1/4 cups Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 pound medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
1/4 cup grated parmesan
2 tablespoons chopped thyme

1  |  Bring broth to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Add asparagus and simmer, uncovered, until just tender, about 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to an ice bath to stop cooking, then drain. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.

2  |  Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter with 1/4 teaspoon salt in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Add wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until absorbed.

3  |  Stir in 1/2 cup broth mixture and briskly simmer, stirring frequently, until absorbed. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is creamy and tender but still al dente, about 18 minutes.

4  |  Stir in shrimp and cook until just cooked through, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in asparagus, zest, remaining 2 tablespoons butter, parmesan, parsley, and pepper to taste.

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