Always use organic whenever possible and affordable.
4 tblsp. olive oil
2/3 cup finely chopped yellow onion
2 cups coarsely chopped mushrooms (use a mixture of your favorites)
½ tsp. salt
3-4 cups organic chicken stock
½ cup white wine (optional) I usually leave this out when cooking for children
½ tsp saffron softened in ¼ cup hot water
1 cup Arborio rice
¼ cup parmesano/ reggiano grated cheese (optional)
8 asparagus cut in 2 inch pieces, using only the tender pieces
1 small organic red bell pepper cut in two inch strips about 1/3 inch wide
- Saute the onion on medium heat in the olive oil for 5 minutes
- Add the mushrooms and cook them until tender
- Add the rice stirring all together. Do not use a lid through this process until the very end.
- Add the saffron and water mixture with the wine, if you are using it. Simmer for one minute.
- Pour in ½ cup chicken stock and cook until absorbed at a medium simmer. Add 1 more cup of stock a half cup at a time, allowing the liquid to be absorbed each time.
- Separately, in a small skillet, braise the asparagus tips until they are slightly cooked but still crisp. Remove from the pan. Refresh the asparagus in cold water.
- Continue to use more of stock ½ cup at a time as needed in the risotto, waiting until each addition is absorbed. You want the risotto to still have some texture when you are finished. Do not overcook it.
- Stir in the cheese.
- Place the asparagus and red bell pepper on top of the risotto and put the lid on.
- Wait a couple of minutes until the peppers and asparagus are hot and have steamed a little.
Serve this dish by itself with a crisp green salad or as a side dish.