Updated 04/05/2012 05:00 AM
Recipe: Risotto with Asparagus, Leeks and Goat Cheese
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4-5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
approx. 1-pound fresh asparagus
1 large leek (2-3 cups chopped white/light green part total)
3-4 Tbs olive oil
1 cup Arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
1 cup dry white wine
zest of 1 orange (or lemon)
approx. 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
4-ounces goat cheese (plus more for optional garnish)
black pepper to taste
For more optional asparagus depth of flavor, snap the tougher bottom parts off of the asparagus and then add those ends to 5 cups of simmering chicken or vegetable stock on the stovetop.
You'll want to use just the white part of the leek and, because of the sand or grit in the leek, you'll want to chop it and rinse it really well. You're looking for 2 - 3 cups of chopped leeks total.
Add a good splash of olive oil to a wide heavy bottomed pan on medium high heat and add the well drained leeks and cook those along for a couple of minutes.
Then add 1 cup of arborio rice and stir that in and toast it for a minute or two. And then add 1 cup of dry white wine and cook and stir that until the wine has been absorbed or has evaporated.
At that point, add a big ladle or two of the chicken stock to the rice, stirring it occasionally as it is absorbed. Then, continuing that process as the rice is softening up.
While you're keeping your eye on the rice, zest one orange, or even a lemon if you like, and then cut the asparagus crosswise into 1/4-inch thick rounds, leaving the tips whole for better presentation.
You might not use all of the chicken stock but, once the rice is just about soft to the tooth, add another ladle of stock and add the asparagus and let that cook along for a couple of minutes.
Then add a good handful of grated parmesan cheese, the grated orange zest, 4-ounces of crumbled goat cheese and a good crack of black pepper. Stir that in and it is good to go!
You want the finished risotto to be just a tiny bit firm to the tooth but nice and creamy at the same time.
Crumble a little more goat cheese over the top of each individual serving.