Market fresh always tastes better, but it also means I have to use up those ingredients sooner.
Asparagus is one seasonal veggie you have to keep a close eye on, so when I snagged a bunch last weekend, I knew I needed to put them to good use.
And then it hit me — risotto!
I had already intended to use some lion’s mane and trumpet mushrooms in a batch, but why not brighten the dish with some springtime green? Mushrooms, especially the varieties I had chosen, are mild enough to not compete with asparagus for attention, and also offered some protein, but I needed something else to give a potentially heavy dish a bright lift.
Enter lemon, as suggested by Sonja Overhiser at A Couple Cooks (link to her original recipe below). Crisp lemony acidity, especially when combined with white wine, would certainly solve my dilemma. Since I didn’t have lemon zest handy, I instead poured some lemon juice as the asparagus was cooling.
I looked to the allrecipes site for additional help, specifically for adapting risotto to an instant pot friendly version: the dish is somewhat notorious for requiring larger amounts of time, labor and attention…
Honestly, I much prefer a dish that doesn’t need my constant hovering over it.
Author Shauna James Ahern (again, linked below for reference) offered exactly what I was looking for — an unfussy, quick and easy risotto process that left plenty of room for incorporating different ingredients without adding a ton of time or stress.
All told, combining the two sources together not only worked beautifully in the end with regards to flavor, but I had a beautiful, springtime meal prepared in about 40 minutes.
Fair warning… this recipe is presented in poetic verse. I did attempt to make the directions as clear as possible, but do let me know how I fared in the comments!
(Bonus points if you can name all the forms I used)
Inspired by and adapted from Sonja Overhiser and Shauna James Ahern
- 1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup olive oil (for risotto)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (for asparagus)
- 1/4 butter, unsalted
- 2 cups diced fresh mushrooms (lion’s mane, oyster, or trumpet)
- 1 1/2 cups rice (arborio works best)
- 3/4 cup Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, or Albariño wine
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
- Salt and pepper, to taste
(in various poetic forms)
(1) Preheat the oven / to four hundred twenty-five / degrees Fahrenheit.
(2) A cooking sheet lined / with bright aluminum foil / displays trimmed green spears. / A glaze of olive oil shines / beneath a sprinkling of salt.
(3) Roasting / your asparagus / takes just thirteen minutes. / When fork tender, remove; pour on / fresh juice.
(4) In your instant pot, set to sauté / add quarter cup oil and butter, hey / add mushrooms and stir / five minutes, good sir / ’till softened and fragrant are they.
(5) Oh rice, your time has come at last, my friend / to plummet to your tasty place of rest / within this blend of oils and ‘shrooms, to end / a-stirred, you shine, and then with wine are blessed. / Three minutes simmer thus, and then in broth / we wait again, in patience but just two / and then loose grains we scrape into the froth / for they must boil ‘neath bubbling surface, too! / Ah, perhaps too fond am I of this-o, / my springtime recipe for risotto!
(6) So near the end! / Instant pot’s lid we lock & seal / So near the end! / We set six minutes, high pressure. / The clock we watch, time we measure / And yes, friend, we’ll soon have a meal. / So near the end!
(7) And once all your time has elapsed / we must all the pressure collapse / cover valve with a towel / and let the instant pot howl / with hands and face safe from the gas.
(8) Here at the close / with spatula in hand, make a stir-stir-stir / and allow a snow of parmesan, bit by bit / to blend into your risotto. / If you wish, add salt, and sure: put some pepper in, too / fresh-cracked, it tastes better! / and top with your / roasted asparagus. / (and more cheese, ‘cuz / why not?)
Leftover risotto can be kept in a sealed, refrigerated container for up to three days. When reheating, add a couple of tablespoons of chicken broth and stir before heating to revitalize it.
What other springtime vegetables should I try adding to risotto? I welcome any suggestions, as this trial turned out pretty darned tasty!
Well, that was a brain workout! Long time, no verse, but perhaps worth it? If you can guess the forms I used for each of the eight steps, put it in the comments!
Thanks for reading 😁 If you enjoy the weekly posts of Seeking Continual Flavor, consider donating to keep things moving! Seasonal ingredients, weird wines, and new kitchen utensils are at the top of my current wishlist, and every little bit helps me share the results with you.
Oh, and before I forget — May the 4th be with you!