I used the Asparagus, Artichoke, and Shiitake Risotto from Smitten Kitchen
I totally bought the artichokes, expecting to use them... but, um, sorta -- well, messed them up. So, we went without! I really didn't miss any flavor in the risotto, thankfully.
I have found that with any new recipe, especially if it intimidates you, is to take your time! Read each instruction and follow it to a 'T'!
Asparagus, (minus the Artichoke) and Shiitake Risotto
Adapted from Gourmet, May 2003
Makes 4 main-course servings.
5 cups chicken broth (40 fl ounces)
1 cup water
1 pound thin to medium asparagus, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inches long pieces
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems discarded and caps cut into 1/4 inch thick slices
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 ounces)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 ounces (1 cup) finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
Bring broth and water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Add asparagus and cook, uncovered, until crisp-tender, 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice and cold water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry. Keep broth at a bare simmer, covered.
Heat oil with 1 tablespoon butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over moderately high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 4 minutes. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.
Cook onion in 2 tablespoons butter in saucepan over moderate heat, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add rice and cook, stirring, 1 minute. Add wine and cook, stirring, until absorbed, about 1 minute.
Ladle in 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer, stirring, until absorbed, about 2 minutes. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding next, until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18 to 20 minutes. (Save leftover broth for thinning.)
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, remaining tablespoon butter, and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in asparagus, artichokes and mushrooms, then cover pan and let stand 1 minute. If desired, thin risotto with some of remaining broth. Serve immediately with remaining cheese on the side.