Risotto takes a little time, but is very easy to make (and hard to mess up) and it always seems to impress. You can add a variety of ingredients to a basic risotto recipe to create endless combinations. Shrimp is my favorite, but I also like mushroom, or a combination of fresh vegetables. It’s a great way to incorporate seasonal vegetables into your menu. Asparagus and baby peas in the spring. Corn, tomato, and zucchini in the summer. Wild mushrooms in the fall. Winter squash in winter. It’s all good.
1 cup arborio rice
1 pound shrimp
2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 shallots, minced (or substitute 1 small onion, finely chopped)
½ cup dry white wine (or vegetable broth)
2 ½ cups vegetable broth
2 tablespoons butter
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated
2 tablespoons heavy cream (half and half will work too)
salt and pepper
Have the vegetable broth simmering in a pot close-by before you begin.
In a large skillet with a heavy bottom, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the shallots and sauté until translucent. Add the arborio rice and sauté with the shallots, stirring often, until the rice starts to get some color, about 5 minutes. Carefully add the white wine (or vegetable broth) slowly, stirring often with a wooden spoon. Once the rice has absorbed the wine (or broth), add 1 cup of the vegetable broth, continuing to stir often. Continue to add 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). About 3 to 4 minutes before the risotto is done (about the time you add the last bit of broth), add the shrimp and cook until pink. Stir in the butter, Parmesan, and heavy cream. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately. Top each serving with additional Parmesan cheese.
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.