I can finally say that I made homemade risotto from scratch. After watching the many seasons of Hell’s Kitchen, Gordon Ramsay always described the art of making the perfect risotto quite difficult and intimidating. I found the process not too laborious and I have to say, I’m quite proud of myself. This risotto features fresh asparagus and peas that make the perfect gluten-free dish with fresh and seasonal flavors.
If you are wondering what Arborio rice is and what its uses are, here’s a quick breakdown: Arborio rice is a short-grain rice that is high in amylopectin, a starch present in rice. Although risotto may be the most common use for Arborio, there are other dishes where creamy rice is considered an ideal ingredient. Where many types of rice require rinsing before cooking, Arborio is the exception. Rinsing would remove the starchy coating that creates a rich and creamy texture when cooked. The process of releasing starch is the key to Arborio’s creaminess, and this is a process that only happens if it’s cooked slowly with a hot liquid added in small amounts.
I would like to thank the talented Stephanie Kirkos at the Spruce Eats for inspiring me to make this delicious dish. This risotto is packed with a variety of great flavors and makes for both a sweet and creamy comfort food. The preparation time for this recipe is relatively minimal and the final dish is ready to enjoy in no time at all.
4 to 5 Cups Gluten-Free Vegetable Broth (or Chicken Broth, Simmered)
4 Teaspoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil (Divided)
1 Pound Asparagus (Rinsed, Tough Ends Removed, and Sliced into 1-Inch Long Pieces)
1 Yellow Onion (Diced)
2 Cloves Garlic (Minced)
1 Cup Arborio Rice
1/2 Cup Room Temperature Dry White Wine
1 Cup Spring Peas (Thawed, if Frozen – or Grilled)
1/2 Cup Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese (Confirm Gluten-Free, May Contain Additives)
Parmesan Shavings (for Garnish)
Dash Salt (Or To Taste)
Preparing the Broth
In a medium-sized pot, heat the broth to a simmer. Continue to simmer the broth on low heat as you go ahead and prepare the rest of the risotto.
Cooking the Asparagus
In a medium-sized sauté pan or skillet, heat one teaspoon of olive oil over medium heat. Next, add the one-inch long asparagus pieces and cook until softened and just about fork-tender for about five to seven minutes. Season with salt and pepper to your liking.
Adding the Onions & Garlic
While the asparagus is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a separate, wide sauté pan or heavy skillet over medium-high heat.
Once the oil is shimmering, add the diced onions and cook until softened, about three to four minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. This should take about one minute.
Add the Arborio Rice
Add the Arborio rice to your pan and stir to coat. Cook until you hear the rice begin to pop and/or crackle.
Then, reduce heat to medium and add the room temperature white wine. Cook until wine is evaporated and absorbed.
Take one cup of simmering broth from the pot and pour it over the rice. Stir gently until well combined. Cook, stirring frequently until the liquid reduces and there is very little liquid left in the pan. The risotto should be bubbling as it cooks, but not rapidly. make sure to reduce the heat to medium-low if the risotto is bubbling too much.
Repeat the step above, adding one cup of broth after the previous cup is absorbed. The risotto will begin to thicken and become creamy throughout this process. This takes about twenty-five to thirty minutes. The risotto will be done when the rice is tender but still has a bite to it.
Making the Finishing Touches
When you are adding the final cup of broth, go ahead and add the peas and sautéed asparagus.
When the last bit of broth is just about absorbed, fold in the grated Parmesan and remove from the heat. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Divide the risotto between two bowls for a hearty main dish, or if you prefer, divided into four smaller plates as a side dish. Garnish each bowl with a few Parmesan shavings and enjoy.