Tender, thin spears of asparagus are just hitting our stores now. We like to gorge on asparagus all spring when it’s at its best. My favorite way to prepare it is steamed with a little bit of garlic and served with a squirt of fresh lemon juice and a pinch of sea salt. When I’m tired of plain asparagus, I like to make this risotto. A teaspoon of mild, white miso stands in for each 1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese that was in the original recipe.
Next time I make this, I plan to make it in the oven, like the last risotto recipe I posted.
4 cups salty vegetable broth
1/2 pound asparagus
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup minced white onion
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
1 small yellow squash
2 tablespoons Earth Balance margarine
1-1/2 teaspoons mild white miso
Heat vegetable broth in a medium saucepan, and then turn down heat to lowest setting that will keep broth hot. Snap woody ends from asparagus and discard. Cut asparagus spears into short pieces. Add to hot broth. Cut squash into short, thin pieces and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a large, deep, sauté pan. Sauté onion until tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in rice and cook about a minute. Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until most of the wine is absorbed.
Add about 1/2 cup of broth (without asparagus) and cook, stirring frequently, until most of broth is absorbed. Repeat with another 1/2 cup broth. After adding about 2 cups of broth to the rice, add the squash to the asparagus in the pot. Continue stirring broth into rice 1/2 cup at a time. When most of the broth has been added, start adding the vegetables to the rice, along with each 1/2 cup of broth. Stir rice until it reaches desired creaminess.
Remove from heat and stir in Earth Balance margarine and miso.