Yid.Dish: Asparagus Risotto

By Miri Levitas

Published April 20, 2009.
  • Print
  • Share Share

Now that Pesach has come and gone and we are back into the swing of eating leavened things again I though I would share a great spring recipe with you. I think I’ve mentioned before that my dad has always been the cook in my family – and fortunately he’s very talented at it. One of my favorite “Dad meals” is a risotto he makes with fresh peas and Parmesan cheese (and sometimes mushrooms as well). Because of this recipe I have become a lover of risotto.


In my family if you helped cook the meal you didn’t have to clean up (this is especially relevant to Shabbat dinner) so I would always volunteer to help my dad cook. Thinking back, this is probably one of the reasons I got interested in cooking. On nights when he made risotto my job was to stir the risotto and add more liquid when necessary. At the time it seemed like quite a tedious process but I now feel fortunate to have been given that job since the stirring and adding the right amount of liquid at the right time is the key to perfecting risotto. Risotto is really incredible because it starts out as rice (Arborio rice to be exact) and through a specific (yet fairly simple) method of cooking it becomes very creamy and delicious.

Risotto is great as a main course or as a side for fish or meat. I happened to get a beautiful bunch of asparagus in my CSA box so I decided to add it to some risotto, however, the other great thing about risotto is that it’s quite versatile. Feel free to add other veggies, meats, fish, etc. As usual please share your favorite risotto recipes!

One more thing… this recipe contains milk and meat. I personally wouldn’t recommend leaving out the milk ingredients since they’re key to the richness so I would recommend substituting vegetable broth (or pareve chicken flavoring) for the chicken broth.

And now for the recipe…

1 pound asparagus (woody ends chopped and composted)

2 Tbsp good quality extra-virgin olive oil

1-2 cloves chopped garlic (depending on how much you like garlic)

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 1/4 cup water for a non-alcoholic option)

About 3 1/2 cups homemade chicken stock (or other previously mentioned options)

1 tsp butter

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Sea salt and pepper

First get rid of the woody ends of the asparagus. You should do this by take one piece of asparagus, holding with one hand on the bottom and the other hand midway down, then bend it until it snaps. Then use that as a guide for where you should trim the rest of the bunch. You can do this by putting the snapped piece back in the bunch (making sure the tops are all even) and just cutting the rest of the bunch at the height of the snapped piece. Then cut the asparagus into 1.5 inch pieces.

Bring a small/medium pot of water to boil and blanch the asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Drain in a strainer and rinse with ice cold water so that the asparagus maintains its bright green color.

In a large saucepan or rimmed saute pan heat olive oil at medium temperature add garlic and onion and cook until translucent, do not brown. While garlic and onions are cooking heat chicken stock in a separate pot or in microwave. This is so that when you add it to the rice you aren’t drastically lowering the temperature in the pan.

Add rice to the onion and garlic and cook a few more minutes. Add the wine and stir slowly until the rice has absorbed the wine. Add half cup chicken stock and continue stirring until almost absorbed. Continue until rice is tender and creamy but not mushy. You’ll want to add more liquid just before all of the liquid is absorbed because you do not want the rice to stick to the bottom of the pan. The whole process should take about 20 minutes.

Turn burner to lowest temperature and gently mix in asparagus, Parmesan cheese, butter, salt and pepper to taste. Serve with more Parmesan cheese on the table. This recipe serves 2-3 as an entree and 4-5 as a side.


The Jewish Daily Forward welcomes reader comments in order to promote thoughtful discussion on issues of importance to the Jewish community. In the interest of maintaining a civil forum, The Jewish Daily Forwardrequires that all commenters be appropriately respectful toward our writers, other commenters and the subjects of the articles. Vigorous debate and reasoned critique are welcome; name-calling and personal invective are not. While we generally do not seek to edit or actively moderate comments, our spam filter prevents most links and certain key words from being posted and The Jewish Daily Forward reserves the right to remove comments for any reason.

Find us on Facebook!
  • Is anti-Zionism the new anti-Semitism?
  • "I thought I was the only Jew on a Harley Davidson, but I was wrong." — Gil Paul, member of the Hillel's Angels. http://jd.fo/g4cjH
  • “This is a dangerous region, even for people who don’t live there and say, merely express the mildest of concern about the humanitarian tragedy of civilians who have nothing to do with the warring factions, only to catch a rash of *** (bleeped) from everyone who went to your bar mitzvah! Statute of limitations! Look, a $50 savings bond does not buy you a lifetime of criticism.”
  • That sound you hear? That's your childhood going up in smoke.
  • "My husband has been offered a terrific new job in a decent-sized Midwestern city. This is mostly great, except for the fact that we will have to leave our beloved NYC, where one can feel Jewish without trying very hard. He is half-Jewish and was raised with a fair amount of Judaism and respect for our tradition though ultimately he doesn’t feel Jewish in that Larry David sort of way like I do. So, he thinks I am nuts for hesitating to move to this new essentially Jew-less city. Oh, did I mention I am pregnant? Seesaw, this concern of mine is real, right? There is something to being surrounded by Jews, no? What should we do?"
  • "Orwell described the cliches of politics as 'packets of aspirin ready at the elbow.' Israel's 'right to defense' is a harder narcotic."
  • From Gene Simmons to Pink — Meet the Jews who rock:
  • The images, which have since been deleted, were captioned: “Israel is the last frontier of the free world."
  • As J Street backs Israel's operation in Gaza, does it risk losing grassroots support?
  • What Thomas Aquinas might say about #Hamas' tunnels:
  • The Jewish bachelorette has spoken.
  • "When it comes to Brenda Turtle, I ask you: What do you expect of a woman repressed all her life who suddenly finds herself free to explore? We can sit and pass judgment, especially when many of us just simply “got over” own sexual repression. But we are obliged to at least acknowledge that this problem is very, very real, and that complete gender segregation breeds sexual repression and unhealthy attitudes toward female sexuality."
  • "Everybody is proud of the resistance. No matter how many people, including myself, disapprove of or even hate Hamas and its ideology, every single person in Gaza is proud of the resistance." Part 2 of Walid Abuzaid's on-the-ground account of life in #Gaza:
  • After years in storage, Toronto’s iconic red-and-white "Sam the Record Man" sign, complete with spinning discs, will return to public view near its original downtown perch. The sign came to symbolize one of Canada’s most storied and successful Jewish family businesses.
  • Is $4,000 too much to ask for a non-member to be buried in a synagogue cemetery?
  • from-cache

Would you like to receive updates about new stories?

You may also be interested in our English-language newsletters:

We will not share your e-mail address or other personal information.

Already subscribed? Manage your subscription.