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Lemony Risotto with Aparagus Tips (vegan)

lemony risotto with asparagus tips vegan

LEMONY RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS (vegan)

Now that spring has sprung, I have noticed that the list of “IN SEASON” veggies has expanded. The produce aisle at the market is bursting with succulent shoots, leafy greens and vibrant fruit. One of my favorite spring vegetable is the ASPARAGUS! Oh I can not get enough of it! My favorite way to eat asparagus is just lightly steamed. When asparagus is in season I try to incorporate it into all of my meals. This is not a problem for me since I could eat it all the time: my family needs it served with a little more pizazz besides just lightly steamed. So taking the request I came up with a dish that not only highlights it, it is the star. My LEMONY RISOTTO WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS has lightly steamed asparagus (which I love), a light asparagus sauce over a bed of creamy lemony risotto (which everyone loves). Risotto is a perfect way to cook whole grain rice for those picky eaters too. So before I get to the recipe, I am going to give some quick tips on picking asparagus.

QUICK TIPS ON ASPARAGUS

  • be sure that all of the stocks are firm and straight
  • look for vibrant and even bright green color
  • the small thin stocks are best for lightly steaming
  • the large thick stocks hold up better if braising or grilling
  • medium stocks work great for steaming for soup
  • to remove the woody end, snap off the ends (it will naturally snap when bent) do not cut, after snapping you can evenly trim if desired
  • eat as much as you can when in season :)

Now that you know a little about asparagus, go to your local farmers market or grocer and get some fresh organic asparagus!

SERVES 12 SIDE DISHES

2 cups organic whole grain arborio rice

6 cloves fresh organic garlic, fine chopped

1 tablespoon organic olive oil

2 large ripe organic lemons, zest and juice

6 cups rich unsalted organic veggie stock (click here for the recipe)

2 tablespoons fresh ground organic dried lemon zest

1 tablespoon fresh ground pink salt (omit if using salted veggie stock)

2 large bunches (about 60 total stalks) of small thin organic asparagus stocks

1 large clove fresh organic garlic

1/3 cup filtered water

medium pan with fitting lid

1/2 cup filtered water

In a large saucepan, heat the oil on high until hot. Add in the rice and the chopped garlic and stir. Cook for about 3 minutes while stirring constantly until light golden brown. Add in the lemon zest and juice. Now slowly add in 1 cup of the veggie stock and reduce the heat to medium high. Bring up to a boil and stir often. Keep slowly adding 1 cup of veggie stock as it is absorbed. Be sure not to allow it to go dry. After the 3rd cup of stock has been added, add in the dried lemon zest and salt then continue to slowly add in the stock. NOTE: this dish takes about 40 minutes but it is SO worth the effort!! after all of the stock has been added and cooked/absorbed the rice should be tender and have a little creamy sauce to it. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. Wash and snap all the woody ends off of your bunches of asparagus. Cut the top 1/3 of the stock off (the tips) and reserve. Now cut up the stocks into quarters and put in your blender. Add the 1 garlic clove and fine chop on high. Slowly add the 1/3 cup of water while on high to make a smooth puree. Place this in a small pot over simmer heat, stir frequently and heat just until warm and bright green (do not heat to HOT it will cause it to discolor and turn gray). Remove this from the heat and set aside. In your medium pan with the fitting lid, add the 1/2 cup of water. Cover and heat on high heat until boiling. Add the asparagus tips and re-cover, remove from the heat. Steam until bright green and uncover. Dunk them in cold water to stop the cooking process. Drain well and set aside.

-TO PLATE LIKE THE ABOVE PICTURE:

On each serving plate: Spoon 1/12 of the puree in a circle starting from the center and work your way out to the sides. Top with a medium ring mold and spoon in the risotto and pack into the mold to make an even circle shaped cake. Top evenly with the asparagus tips. Serve and enjoy!!

 

jarohoney copyright 2014

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