Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Lemongrass and Asparagus Risotto

This month's Royal Foodie Joust challenged us to come up with recipes using Lemongrass, Asparagus & Almonds, ingredients chosen by 5 Star Foodie. Now, lemongrass usually says Thai food to me but I got it into my head that I wanted to do a risotto. I know risotto is an Italian dish but couldn't think of a reason Asian flavors wouldn't work in that creamy rice (even though Matt was extremely doubtful).
Lemongrass & Asparagus Risotto
Well, my instincts were right because the arborio rice was the perfect base for this flavor combination & oh, what a combination. The sweet rice wine, ginger, lemongrass & coconut milk gave it a subtly sweet flavor, though it is not at all overly sweet like a dessert. The coconut milk along with the rice makes if very creamy & comforting. The crunch of the toasted almonds adds a nice additional texture.

Cooking note: I used very thin asparagus. If you use fatter asparagus add it earlier in the cooking process reserving the tips. Add the tips with the last cup of broth.

Lemongrass & Asparagus Risotto

2 T slivered almonds
6 3-4 inch pieces of lemongrass
3 c chicken broth plus more if needed
1 T salted butter
1 T olive oil
1/4 c onion, finely chopped
1/2 t peeled, minced ginger
3/4 c arborio rice
1/4 sweet cooking rice wine
1 c thin asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces
pinch dried basil
1/4 c coconut milk

Toast the almonds over low heat until golden brown. Set aside.

Chop the lemongrass in a food processor until very fine & set aside.

Bring the chicken broth to a simmer & keep it simmering throughout cooking.

Put the butter & olive oil in a medium saucepan & heat over medium-high until the butter is melted. Add the onion, ginger & lemongrass. Cook until the onion softens & begins to turn translucent. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stir in the rice & cook while stirring for for about 1 minute, coating the rice with the oil & butter. Stir in the rice wine. Cook while stirring until the wine is completely absorbed. Add the broth 1/4 cup a a time, stirring frequently. Wait until each addition is absorbed before adding the next.

When about 1 cup of broth remains add in the asparagus & dried basil. Continue to cook, adding broth as before. When the broth is gone the rice should be al dente with a creamy sauce. If it is still a little hard add more chicken broth 1/4 cup at a time. When the rice is done stir in the coconut milk.

Serve topped with the toasted almonds.

1 large main course or 2 small servings

Thanks to the Leftover Queen for hosting another fun challenge.

If you are not reading this post in a feed reader or at http://agoodappetite.blogspot.com OR at http://agoodappetite.com then the site you are reading is illegally publishing copyrighted material. Contact me at katbaro AT yahoo DOT COM. All recipes, text and photographs in this post are the original creations & property of the author unless otherwise noted.
© 2007-2009 Kathy Lewinski

11 comments:

Giff said...

when i saw this on your menu, I was wondering how it would turn out. sounded good. glad it was :)

Dawn said...

I love lemongrass. Oh that smell while it's cooking. This is very creative, nicely done.

Sara said...

This sounds wonderful, great take on risotto. Risotto isn't just for the Italians anymore - I saw a chili risotto this morning at The Food in my Beard.

[eatingclub] vancouver || js said...

I love this Asian twist on risotto! Good luck on the Joust!

Grace said...

lemongrass, coconut milk--awesome flavors. and the creamy rice would be set off so nicely by the crunchy almonds. this is terrific, kat!

Jamie said...

I have never cooked with Lemongrass, but strangely enough I just made - and posted on my blog - a gorgeous Lemon Risotto worth trying! I am a risotto lover (read : freak)! This risotto is beautiful!

the wicked noodle said...

So creative! This sounds delicious. A must try!

Sam said...

I would never have come up with this idea it's very inventive! Glad to hear it turned out so well, it looks beautiful.

Foodycat said...

Beautiful flavours! I have done Asian-y risotto in the past to go with baked chicken legs in a sticky soy marinade, but I think yours looks much better than anything I have done!

Jude said...

Sounds great.. Spring is finally here. Must be so creamy with the coconut milk in it.

Karen Brown Letarte said...

This looks so delicious and comforting! What a great use of the ingredients! Next time I'm serving a plain meat I'll have to try this one out!

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