Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Another way to take advantage of that beautiful spring asparagus...

I had to rearrange the meals for this week since Jeff ended up catching the same bug I had last week... instead of the more spicy dinner I had planned, I decided to make a more mild Barley Risotto with Asparagus and Parmesan. However, this did mean I had to run to the market this morning to get some fresh asparagus!

Instead of using arborio rice as in a classic risotto, this version uses the plump and chewy barley... but the way it is prepared is the same. Before you start adding the broth, make sure that you warm it up to a low simmer - this will help the grain more readily absorb the liquid as it will take slightly longer than rice to cook. I loved how the barley brought an earthy nuttiness while the white wine infuses a sharp undertone to the grain. Fresh spring asparagus is diagonally cut into pieces and is added with the last half cup of vegetable broth to keep them crisp-tender and not mushy. While not as creamy as a traditional risotto, Parmesan cheese added at the end does work that loved texture into the dish. This was very filling and I'm really looking forward to having this veggie dish as lunch tomorrow!


  1. I make asparagus risotto fairly often--it's my husband's favorite. And you can't beat asparagus in the spring! Looks lovely!

  2. Jen - Thanks! It was a snazzy way to change up risotto!