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Side Dish

Shallot-Asparagus Risotto

I absolutely love Risotto.  Is it an arm workout?  YES! But it is so worth the time and effort to make.  The key is to stir almost constantly while adding liquid a little bit at a time so that it properly absorbs. 

This was a bit a mash up of other recipes that I have made to match a new main coarse and I really liked how it came out.  I wanted to include a veggie with some elements of a black pepper and sage version I made a long time ago.  Thats one of the great things about risotto, you can pretty much add whatever to it and it can become a meal all by itself.

The culinary science behind risotto is really interesting.  The short grain Arborio rice releases its starch in a way that creates that characteristic stickiness all by itself.  I have seen a bunch of ways to create “easy”, “quick” or other “cheat” techniques to make “risotto”, but you really can’t cheat to get the perfect sticky texture.  I think its worth the effort and its a great basic technique to master since it is so useful.

Shallot-Asparagus Risotto

Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time45 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4 People


  • 1.5 Cups Arborio Rice
  • 1 Shallot minced
  • 2 Garlic Cloves minced
  • 4 oz Brandy
  • 2 Tbs Butter
  • 1 Qt Chicken Stock
  • 1 Sprig Thyme
  • 1 Tbs Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 5-6 Asparagus Spears Cut into 1 inch segments
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


  • Heat the butter in a dutch oven over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook for about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
  • Add the rice and stir for about 1-2 minutes until slightly toasted and aromatic.
  • Stir in the brandy and thyme leaves. Start stirring smoothly and consistently until the liquid is mostly absorbed. Start adding the broth a half cup at a time continuing to stir. Add more broth only once the previous addition is mostly absorbed. You may not need all of the broth or you may need slightly more. You will know the risotto is almost done when it is thick and sticky and the rice kernels are soft (I like mine with a every so slight al dente feel).
  • Add the asparagus with the last of the stock and add the vinegar when the last addition is about half absorbed.
  • Serve immediately (risotto can get hard as it cools due to the large amount of starch).

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