This time last year, I was already writing about zippy happy spring recipes and exclaiming over the warm weather. Well, the prospect of the warm weather.
I don't know who I was kidding, but spring was definitely a long ways off. It was snowing in Boston last week on Housing Day, while we were running around Harvard Yard at the ass crack of dawn.
To explain, Harvard' dorm system is structured around 12 houses (think Harry Potter houses), and in the spring, every freshman is randomly sorted into one of them. On housing day morning, they are greeted by a crowd of screaming upperclassmen (wearing, among other things, Speedos, penguin suits, and tree costumes) banging on their door to welcome them to their new house.
It's probably one of my favorite days at Harvard, seeing everyone jumping up and down in support of their house. Even though it was 20 degrees and snowing. And some people were in
boxers. My roommates and I, in the snow supporting Winthrop house. (Which, you know, is the Harvard equivalent of Gryffindor.)
Anyways, I'm not going to call this a spring recipe so much as an anticipatory spring recipe. It's good either way; this thick, creamy, cheese-y risotto is flavored with Gorgonzola and asparagus.
I've always thought that risotto was a super fancy Italian food that's really hard to make, but it's surprisingly easy. It's only slightly harder than making oatmeal: you saute the vegetables, add the rice, and gradually add the liquids, and then stir in the cheese.
So give it a try. It's perfect on a cold almost-kinda-not-really spring day after you've spent the morning running around in the cold and bursting into freshmen dorms.
Asparagus and Gorgonzola Risotto
Yields: 4-6 servings
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium white or yellow onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 ½ cups arborio rice
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 pound asparagus, washed, trimmed, and cut into 1-inch pieces
½ - 1 cup water
4 ounces Gorgonzola cheese
salt, to taste
Parmesan, to serve
In a large pot on the stove over medium heat, heat the olive oil.
Add the onions, and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent.
Stir in the garlic. Cook for about another 2 minutes.
Add in the arborio rice, and cook for 2-3 minutes, while stirring. Add the asparagus.
Add in stock 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly, and waiting until the stock is absorbed into the rice before adding the next half cup.
Stir in the gorgonzola. Add ½ cup of water and cook for another minute or two.
The rice should be thoroughly cooked at this point. If it is still slightly hard, add the additional ½ cup of water and cook for another 3-5 minutes.
Season with salt, if desired. Sprinkle with parmesan when serving.