Sunday, September 1, 2013

Risotto Agli Asparagi e Limone ~ Lemon Garlic & Asparagus Risotto

Today's blog post is inspired by Sapori di Roma, or Flavors of Rome.

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In Fall 2012, my parents spent the semester living in Rome, Italy, while my father taught a course for the Center for Theology and Religious Studies global campus.  My birthday happened to fall during their stay, and to commemorate me turning the big 4-0, my mom sent me a care package that would make any cook weep for joy:

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Believe me, I am enjoying every bit of these ingredients.  So today, I would like to pay particular attention to the lovely packet in the far right foreground of Risotto. Deliciously creamy arborio rice straight from the mother land, flavored in a packet with bits of garlic and asparagus, aptly labeled: Sapori di Roma

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Now, I knew I wanted to incorporate some fresh asparagus into the dish, because even though they were from Italy, the little dehydrated bits of "asparagi" that came in the package looked a bit tired.

I decided I would bust out my Le Creuset grill pan and grill some fresh asparagus. Since we don't eat meat in our house, this doesn't get used that often, so it is nice to give it some "love" every now and again.

Grilled Asparagus with Lemon

1 pound large asparagus, trimmed
2-3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

  • Preheat the grill to medium.
  • In a shallow baking dish, toss the asparagus with the oil to coat. Add the salt, and pepper and toss.
  • Place the asparagus on the grill pan in a single layer, and cook, turning every 5 minutes, until marked and tender, about 15 minutes. 
  • Transfer to a cutting board, sprinkle with the lemon juice. 
  • Cut into 1 inch bite sized pieces and set aside. 

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Now, on to the risotto:

Although I have watched it being prepared many times on countless Food Network shows, I have never actually made risotto.  But seriously, I knew I was ready.  Plus, the Arborio rice straight from the heart of Italy gave me the inspiration to conquer this dish.  So here we go:

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Risotto Agli Asparagi e Limone ~ Lemon Garlic & Asparagus Risotto


6 cups vegetable stock
1/4 cup olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, grilled, stalks cut into 1-inch pieces
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest, plus more for garnish
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup nutritional yeast, or more to taste - or
1/2 cup of home made vegan parmesan (will post my recipe tomorrow)!


1.  Bring stock to a simmer in a medium saucepan.
2.  Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat in another saucepan. 
3.  Cook onion, stirring frequently, until soft, about 6 to 7 minutes. 
4.  Add rice, cook, stirring, until edges are translucent, 2 to 3 minutes. 
5.  Add wine; cook, stirring, just until evaporated.
6.  Add 1/2 cup hot stock; cook, stirring, until almost absorbed. 
7.  Continue adding 1/2 cup stock in this manner until liquid is creamy and rice is al dente, about 25-30 minutes total (you may not need to add all the stock). 
8.  Add the grilled asparagus with the last addition of stock, reserving about half of the tops for garnish.
9.  Turn off the heat and stir in lemon zest and juice, nutritional yeast or vegan parmesan, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil. 
10. Season with salt and pepper and serve immediately.

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  1. Wow, this looks perfect. Risotto was actually the first ever purposefully vegan thing I made! Also you might want to consider removing your captcha during MoFo, I know most people will skip commenting if they see one!

  2. Yes! I forgot I turned it back on!! Thanks, Jojo!! Hope all is well since Vida Vegan :))))