Back to the Recipes Index

Shiitake and Asparagus Risotto

Back to the Vegetables Index

This works best with fresh shiitake mushrooms that are two to three inches across.

Cut the stems from the mushrooms and the bottom couple of inches from the asparagus spears, and slice them all lengthwise. Place them in a large saucepan along with the celery and carrot. Cover with the broth and water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook at least 30 minutes to make a mild stock.

Cut away the tips of the asparagus and set them aside in a bowl. Assuming you have nice large shiitake mushrooms, cut them in half, then slice the halves into 0.25-inch sections. Slice the remaining parts of the asparagus in half-inch rounds.

Melt 3 Tbsp. of butter in a skillet. Cook the mushrooms, asparagus rounds, and shallots in the butter over medium heat for about 8–10 minutes.

Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly, until the rice kernels are opaque, about 3 minutes. Add the wine and stir until it's almost all gone. Sprinkle in the herbes de Provence and ladle about a cup of the simmering stock through a strainer into the rice and cook, stirring, until it evaporates. When the bottom of the pan is almost dry, add an additional 0.5 cup and repeat.

Keep cooking this way, adding more stock as needed, until the rice begins to swell and become tender. Stir in 1.5 tsp. of salt, add the asparagus tips and continue cooking until the rice kernels are swollen and completely tender. Do not cook the mixture dry; the final texture should be somewhat soupy with slightly thickened liquid. This will take about 20 minutes in all.

Remove the skillet from the heat and add the remaining tablespoon of butter and the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano . Stir these into the risotto. The liquid will thicken even more. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Spoon into warmed shallow bowls and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.