Are you a fan of Allrecipes? I am! I have found some pretty fantastic recipes on the site, including this one for Asparagus with Balsamic Butter Sauce. It makes for a nice, flavorful side dish. A perfect addition to your Easter (or any) meal.
Find the recipe here.
I made this risotto while I was on the low iodine diet, but you don’t have to be on a special diet to enjoy it. My husband and I both thought it was delicious. This can easily be made to be vegetarian/vegan by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth.
Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto
3 cups unsalted chicken broth
1 bunch (about 1 pound) fresh asparagus, sliced in to 1/2-inch pieces
4 T. extra virgin olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 ounces mushrooms (button or baby bellas), cleaned and chopped
1 cup Arborio rice
Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
In a small saucepan, heat the unsalted chicken broth to simmering.
In another saucepan, cook the sliced asparagus in salted (with Kosher salt) boiling water, until crisp tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and set aside.
In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, heat 2 tablespoons of the extra virgin olive oil over medium-low heat and sauté the onion until translucent. Add the Arborio rice, stir to coat with oil and sauté with onions for about 5 minutes to toast the rice. Add the chopped mushrooms and continue to sauté until they soften. Add 1 cup of the heated chicken broth, stirring with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring until the rice has absorbed the broth. Add another 1/2 cup of the stock, stirring often until the rice has absorbed the broth. Continue adding the broth (about ½ cup at a time) as the rice absorbs the liquid and the pan becomes dry, until all the broth is absorbed. This should take about 20 minutes (the risotto will become creamy). As you are adding the last bit of broth, add the drained asparagus and cook until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil, season with Kosher salt and pepper, stir to combine, and serve immediately.
From April 4, 2007: I made this for lunch today and liked it. I used Uncle Ben’s Original Recipe Long Grain and Wild Rice mix. I also used dried shiitake mushrooms. The can of evaporated milk I used was pretty small, but I’m not sure the exact measurement. I think prepared wild rice would be a bit more nutritious than a box of processed seasoned rice. I’ll try that next time.
Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Soup
1 (6 oz) box of long grain and wild rice blend, prepared
1/2 cup dried mushrooms
1 cup water
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound asparagus, cut into 1/2″ pieces
6 cups vegetable broth
salt and pepper to taste
1 can evaporated milk
2 tablespoons cornstarch
Prepare rice according to directions. Set aside. Place dried mushrooms in 1 cup of boiling water and allow to soak for 20 minutes. Strain, reserving the water, and chop mushrooms. Set aside, along with soaking water.
In large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, and saute for 2 minutes. Add asparagus and saute an additional 3 minutes. Add mushrooms and rice, and stir well. Add reserved mushroom water and vegetable broth, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over high heat. In small bowl, whisk cornstarch into evaporated milk, and pour into pan. Bring back to a boil and boil for 3-5 minutes, until thickened. Remove from heat and serve.
Asparagus Cheese Soup
From June 11, 2006: I got this recipe from my friend, Robin. It’s a very rich soup and very much like my Broccoli and Cheese Soup recipe. I made a half batch of this particular recipe and doubled the amount of asparagus. Somehow that made me feel better about consuming all that cheese and milk. I also left out the thyme, because I don’t like it much. I also added the cheese before I added the asparagus. I felt the cheese melted easier that way. This is a delicious soup.
Asparagus Cheese Soup
1/4 cup butter or margarine
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. pepper
6 cups milk
4 cups fresh asparagus (1-inch pieces), cooked and drained or 2 packages (10 oz.) frozen cut asparagus, thawed
3 cups shredded cheddar cheese
4 tsp. minced fresh thyme or 1 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
additional shredded cheddar (optional)
In a 3 quart saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth. Gradually add milk and bring to a boil. Boil and stir for two minutes. Add asparagus and heat through. Reduce heat. Add the cheese, and thyme. Cook until cheese is melted, stirring frequently (do not boil). Garnish with additional cheese if desired.
Yield: 6 to 8 servings (2 quarts)