Meet Ariel, another alumna from one of my healthy kid cooking classes-I am so proud :-). It is a great example of how an adult can inspire and encourage cooking in young people. Go, Ariel’s mom! Here is what her mom says about her:
“Ariel was so excited to see that you are having this cooking contest. She loves to cook with me and particularly loves this recipe as it incorporates some of her favorite foods. Namely, asparagus and rice.
She and I do a mock cooking show at home (titled: The Mommy and Ariel cooking show.) We even break for commercials.
If I could only get her to clean the kitchen when we’re done, sigh…”
Risotto with Fresh Asparagus
Ariel Ingersoll’s recipe
1 pound fresh asparagus 3 tablespoons finely minced onion
Salt to taste/Pepper 2 cups Arborio rice
4 cups of Chicken Broth ¼ Cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano
2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Trim asparagus and take the tough ends off. Lay asparagus flat down into a pan and cover with an inch of cold water and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Cover, lower heat, and simmer for 4 minutes or until asparagus is tender but still firm. Drian, reserve the cooking water. Set asparagus aside to cool.
Cut the asparagus into 1 ½ inch pieces and set aside. Keep tips separate from rest of the pieces.
Combine the asparagus cooking water with broth and make 6 cups of liquid. Put in a saucepan over low heat.
Heat butter and oil in a heavy 6-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté for 5 minutes; until onion is very soft and starting to turn golden.
Add rice and sauté for 2 minutes. Add asparagus pieces – NOT THE TIPS — and add hot broth mixture, ½ cup at a time. Stir constantly. As broth is absorbed, add more broth. When the rice has absorbed enough to be creamy and al dente, remove from the heat and add the asparagus tips, cheese and pepper.
TASTE and serve immediately!!
(Credit: Rao’s Restaurant Cookbook)
NOTE: This serves 6 people. Any vegetable can be used if you don’t like asparagus, such as peas (frozen; let thaw and just add), or broccoli or cut up string beans (cook like you do the asparagus).