Lemon Thyme Risotto with Asparagus and Wild Mushroom Ragout

18 05 2011

3/4 oz. dried porcini mushrooms

8 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced

8 1/2 cups vegetable stock

2 cups boiling water

1 lb medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 inch pieces on the diagonal

1/2 small onion, finely diced

2 tbsp olive oil

2 cups Arborio rice, rinsed

1/2 cup dry white wine

2/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

sea salt, to taste

freshly ground black pepper to taste

1 tbsp fresh thyme,  minced

zest of 1 lemon

1 stick unsalted butter

3 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 cup frozen baby peas

1 tbsp minced chives

Soak the porcini mushrooms in the boiling water for 20 minutes. Once soft, drain them through a paper towel, reserving the soaking liquid. Rinse any grit off the mushrooms and squeeze dry. Chop large pieces and set aside.

Bring vegetable stock to boil. Add asparagus and cook until crisp tender. Remove with a slotted spoon and plunge into ice water to stop the cooking process. They should be a lovely green color. Keep the broth warm on the stove.

Heat the olive oil in a 5 to 6 quart heavy pot. Saute onion until soft and translucent. Add rice and stir to coat with oil, about 1 minute. Add wine and stir until all absorbed. Add about 1/2 cup hot broth and stir constantly over a medium low heat until most of the liquid has been absorbed. Keep adding broth a few ladlefuls at a time and continue to stir while the rice absorbs the liquid. When the rice becomes tender and creamy looking, remove from the heat.

In a skillet, heat 2 tbsp butter over high heat until foam subsides. Saute shiitake, porcini and garlic until the shiitake is tender. Pour in 1 1/2 cups porcini soaking liquid and bring to a boil, reduce the liquid slightly. Stir in peas, asparagus, 1/2 the zest and 1/2 the thyme and salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for a couple minutes. Remove from heat and swirl in 2 tbsp butter. Season to taste.

Finish off the risotto. Put it back on the heat and add one more ladleful of broth. Stir gently to absorb that liquid. Then add in the remaining butter, thyme and lemon zest. Add in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste.

Serve the risotto by placing a mound on a plate or shallow bowls and then topping it with the asparagus mushroom ragout and some of the liquid. Garnish with chopped chives and serve passing extra Parmesan cheese.




One response

3 08 2014

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