Asparagus, Artichoke, and Shiitake Risotto

5 cups chicken broth (40 fl.oz)
1 cup water
1 pound thin-mid sized asparagus, trimmed and sliced into 1/4 in. pieces, leaving tips 1 1/2 in. long
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
3/4 lb. fresh shiitake mushrooms: stems discarded, caps cut to 1/4 in. slices
2 lrg fresh artichoke hearts,1/4 inch thick slices, prepared*
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice (10 oz)
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Bring broth and water to a boil in a 4-quart pot. Add asparagus and cook uncovered until crisp-tender, 3-4 minutes. Transfer asparagus with a slotted spoon to a large bowl of ice water to stop cooking, then drain and pat dry. Maintain broth at a low simmer, covered.

Heat oil with 1 tbsp butter in a 4-quart heavy saucepan over med-high heat until foam subsides, then saute mushrooms for about 4 minutes until browned, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and pepper, then transfer to a bowl.

Cook onion in 2 tbsp butter in saucepan over moderate heat for about 3 minutes, stirring until softened. Add rice and cook for 1 minute while stirring. Add wine and cook until absorbed, stirring about 1 minute.

Add 1 cup simmering broth and cook at a strong simmer for about 2 minutes, stirring until absorbed. Continue simmering and adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, stirring frequently and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next 1/2 cup. Continue adding browth until rice is just tender and looks creamy, 18-20 minutes. (Save leftover broth in case risotto needs to be thinned later.)

Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 cup cheese, the remaining 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.



Remove all outer leaves, choke, and stem of a whole artichoke, leaving just the heart. Cut the heart into 1/4 inch slices and immediately toss in a bowl filled with the juice of one lemon. Make sure heart is entirely coated in lemon juice or else it will quickly brown. In a small pot, boil water with a generous few splashes of white wine, a splash of white vinegar, a smashed garlic clove and/or a bay leaf. Add the artichoke hearts with all of their lemon juice and simmer for about 10 minutes, or longer if needed to become tender. Drain and set aside.


Recipe adapted from Smitten Kitchen