Spring Risotto with Morels & Asparagus

The hunt for these coveted mushrooms, as our resident forager knows, is addictive.
Posted March 31, 2011

2 dozen thin asparagus spears
20 medium-size morels, halved
1 cup Arborio rice
1 small onion, diced
1 to 2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup Parmesan, grated
2 tablespoons butter, divided use
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

1. Reserve 2-inch tops of asparagus, cutting the remainder into 1-inch pieces. Blanch asparagus (minus tops) for 3 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon. Blanch asparagus tops 1 minute right before serving.

2. Sauté onion and garlic in a tablespoon each of butter and olive oil over medium heat until soft, a couple minutes. Add morels and cook for 2 to 3 minutes before adding asparagus (again, minus tops). Cook together another 2 to 3 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

3. Deglaze the pan with white wine. When liquid has nearly bubbled off, add rice, stirring to coat. Toast rice for 2 minutes over medium heat.

4. Add a ladleful of warm chicken broth at a time until rice is al dente.

5. Remove from heat; stir in a tablespoon of butter and the Parmesan cheese. Serve immediately, garnishing with asparagus tops.

Serves 2.