It has been cold in KY for a few days now, and we are definitely ready for Spring/Summer to come and stay! In honor of what we hope will the last cold weekend for several months we made risotto with fresh baked bread for dinner last night. I love this recipe for dinner on cold nights because it warms us up and gives me an excuse to stand in front of the hot oven/stove for about 40 minutes. There is nothing better than that, especially on the cold evenings in Spring and Fall when you have already turned off the heat in the house!
Risotto with Asparagus & Bell Pepper
1 cup arborio rice
6-7 cups chicken broth
1/2 medium red onion
1 bunch asparagus
1/2 cup red bell pepper
2 oz. parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons butter
Dice onion and bell pepper and set aside. Cut asparagus into 1 inch pieces and set aside. Grate cheese and set aside.
Put about 2 tablespoons of butter or olive oil in a skillet with the onion and saute for 3-5 minutes. Put chicken broth in another pan and warm to almost a boil.
Once onion is mostly cooked add in the cup of rice and stir until lightly browned. Then begin to slowly add the heated chicken broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, and stir until combined.
Meanwhile, place the asparagus in another skillet with a bit of olive oil, pepper, and salt, and cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes, or until it is bright green and tender.
Add the bell pepper to the rice mixture, and continue to add chicken broth until the rice is fully cooked. This will take about 20-25 minutes.
To finish the risotto add the Parmesan cheese, butter, and asparagus a mix together. Add salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!
The great thing about risotto is that once you have the basic idea down, you can add in basically anything you want and have a completely different dish. We love this version with the asparagus, but we have also made it with peas and bacon, roasted broccoli, or left it plain and had it as a side dish.