Asparagus Risotto

2 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1/2 cup chopped shallots
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine (or 1 Tbsp lemon juice and 3 Tbsp water)
About 4 cups chicken stock (or vegetable stock for vegetarian option)*
1/2 pound asparagus, trimmed, tips cut off, tough skins of the spears peeled (if working with thick apparatus spears), and the spears cut into thin disks
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper
If cooking gluten-free, use gluten-free stock.


In a 3 or 4 quart saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon butter on medium heat. Add the shallots and cook for a minute or two, until translucent. Add the rice and cook for 2 minutes more, stirring until nicely coated.
While the shallots are cooking, bring the stock to a simmer in a saucepan.
Add the wine. Slowly stir, allowing the rice to absorb the wine. Once the wine is almost completely absorbed, add 1/2 cup of hot stock to the rice. Continue to stir until the liquid is almost completely absorbed, adding more stock in 1/2 cup increments. Stir often to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Continue cooking and stirring rice, adding a little bit of broth at a time, cooking and stirring until it is absorbed, until the rice is tender, but still firm to the bite, about 20-25 minutes. With the last ladle of stock, add the asparagus. Turn off the heat.
Note the stock amount given is approximate. You may need a little more or less. If you end up needing more stock and you find yourself without, just use water.
Gently stir in the Parmesan cheese and the remaining 1 tablespoon butter. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately.
Yield: Serves 2-3 as a main course, or 4 as a side dish.

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