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Asparagus and Spruce Tip Risotto

Asparagus and Spruce Tip Risotto

This asparagus and spruce tip risotto is the perfect vegetarian meal to make before springtime swings into summer!

  • Prep Time10 min
  • Cook Time45 min
  • Total Time55 min
  • Yield4 servings

Ingredients

  • 1lb (454g) wild or store bought asparagus, tough ends removed
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 cup (+/- 120g) young spruce tips, plus some for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) dry vermouth or white wine
  • 1 cup (220g) Arborio rice
  • 4-6 cups (1000-1500ml) vegetable or chicken stock
  • Black pepper
  • Spruce salt or kosher salt
  • 1 cup (100g) grated Parmesan cheese
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • Lemon zest for garnish (optional)
  • Aleppo pepper for garnish (optional)

Preparation

1

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt. 

Add the asparagus spears and cook for 2 minutes. 

Fill a bowl with ice cold water. 

After 2 minutes, transfer the asparagus to the ice water, reserving a 3/4 cup (177ml) of the cooking water. 

2

Once the asparagus is cool, cut the tips off (the top 1-1.5 inches) and set aside. 

Chop the rest of the spears into pieces, then add them to a blender with the spruce tips, 1 tablespoon (15ml) of the olive oil, and the reserved cooking liquid. 

Blend on high until smooth, about 1 minute. 

3

Add the other tablespoon (15ml) of olive oil to a deep skillet over medium heat. 

Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes. 

Pour in the wine or vermouth and cook until it has mostly dissipated. 

Add the rice and toast, stirring, for 2 minutes. 

Reduce heat to medium low. 

4

Set a bowl of veggie or chicken stock with a ladle next to the skillet.

Ladle in 1 ladleful of stock into the rice. Let the rice absorb pretty much all of the liquid, stirring all the while with a wooden spoon. 

Add another ladleful, let the stock absorb it, and repeat. 

Carry on doing this until the rice is starting to get creamy, but is still a bit al dente (has a bite to it), about 30 minutes. 

Add 3/4 of the blended asparagus and spruce mixture, and cook down until mostly absorbed. 

5

Add half of the asparagus tips, a few grinds of black pepper, a pinch of spruce salt, the Parmesan cheese, and the lemon juice. 

Stir in the last 1/4 of the purée and take the skillet off the heat. 

Taste for seasoning. 

6

Spoon the risotto into bowls and sprinkle with the reserved asparagus tips and spruce tips. Sprinkle over some lemon zest and Aleppo pepper as well (if using). Serve immediately. Enjoy!

 

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