By Nancy Caivano
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped (or 2 teaspoons chopped garlic from a jar)
1 pound fresh morel mushrooms, sliced
3 Granny Smith apples, peeled and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper
2 cups arborio rice
1/2 cup calvados (apple liqueur)
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1/2 pound asparagus, tough ends trimmed, cut into 1" pieces and steamed 3 minutes
3 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup grated pecorino romano cheese (or parmesan)
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped (or 1 tablespoon dry)
1 small bunch scallions, thinly sliced
Method: In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic, morels, apples and black pepper. Cook until apples begin to brown.
Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add calvados, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate.
When calvados is evaporated, begin adding stock 1/2 cup at a time, letting each addition evaporate before adding the next addition. After fourth addition of stock is added, begin tasting rice. Rice should be al dente when done.
Add asparagus after fourth addition of stock is absorbed. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter, romano, scallions and parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Note: if you cannot find fresh morels, you can substitute either dried morels, or you can use another mushroom variety. Portobello or shiitake would work well.
This page created September 1998
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