This right here is probably my favorite time of the year. It’s a confluence of all my favorite things at once:
1. Berries berries berries everywhere
2. The end of a long winter of lame imported produce, the farmers’ markets are back!
3. BASEBALL (going to two games next week when my Cardinals are in town playing the Nats)
4. SOFTBALL (even better, because I get to play every week. My team crushed last week. I like winning.)
5. Rooftop pools.
6. Rooftop bars.
7. Just one month until the best holiday of the year, 4th of July.
8. Tank tops. I love them. I just do.
9. It’s the perfect time for a new haircut…
10. Did I mention berries? Holy cow I can’t stop eating them.
One thing I’ve been buying a lot of at the farmers’ market is asparagus. I really like the skinny asparagus spears. I think the fat ones intimidate me. I don’t think I ever bought asparagus before this spring. But now I’m all about it. Me + Asapargus = Love.
I actually couldn’t decide which picture of the asparagus I liked better…thoughts?
On almost a daily basis I chop up some asparagus, roast it, and top it with balsamic vinegar and parmesan cheese. It’s easy, it’s delicious, you can’t go wrong. But every once in a while you need to get a little fancier. A little less healthy.
Not gonna lie, I was sweating like crazy by the time this risotto was done. Risotto is not a great dish to make when it’s 95 degrees and humid and your AC isn’t on. Combine that with your oven being on at 400 degrees to roast the asparagus, and it is just not a great life choice.
But hey, all those calories I burned off while stirring and sweating and stirring and stirring and sweating meant that I could eat an extra large portion…
Roasted Asparagus Risotto with Fontina
½ pound fresh asparagus, cut into 1 inch pieces
½ cup dry white wine
3 cups chicken broth
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 medium shallots, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cups arborio rice
Fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 cup fontina cheese, grated
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spread asparagus on a baking sheet and drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 5-10 minutes, until bright green.
Heat chicken broth in a medium pan and keep warm.
In large, heavy pot add ½ tablespoon of butter, olive oil and diced shallots. Cook until nearly translucent over medium high heat. Add rice, stirring. Cook for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce heat to low and add wine. Stir until wine is mostly absorbed. Add 1 cup warm chicken broth, stirring until liquid is mostly absorbed. Continue to add warm chicken broth by the ½ cup, stirring and allowing it to be mostly absorbed before adding more. Add broth until risotto is cooked. Rice should be creamy but still have a slight al dente bite to it.
Stir in grated fontina cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Fold in roasted asparagus spears.