Pasta Risotto & You

By Nancy Caivano


Risotto Salad with Grilled Asparagus,
Dried Tomatoes and Smoked Mozzarella

Serves 6



Cooking spray
1 lb asparagus
1/2 cup olive oil, divided,
   plus olive oil for brushing
1 onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp jar chopped garlic)
2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
4 cups simmering chicken stock
1 cup dried tomatoes, julienned, soaked in
   hot water to cover for 30 minutes, water strained and reserved
3 tbsp butter
1/4 cup parsley, chopped
2 tsp basil, finely chopped
3/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese (or Parmesan)
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 cup Smoked Mozzarella cut in small dice



Spray grill racks well with cooking spray and preheat to medium-high heat. Brush asparagus well with olive oil. Grill asparagus until browned and softened. Remove to a cutting board and cut into thirds.

In a large saucepan, heat 3 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion, and garlic. Cook until onion is translucent. Add rice, stirring constantly, and cook 5 minutes more, making sure rice does not brown. Add wine, stirring constantly, and let totally evaporate. When wine 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. You need to keep tasting rice, because, depending on rice, you may or may not have to use all of the stock. Add dried tomatoes and asparagus after fourth addition of stock is absorbed.

After last addition of stock is absorbed, remove from heat, and stir in butter, parsley, basil and Romano. Season with salt and pepper. Lay risotto out on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with plastic and let completely cool in refrigerator.

When rice is completely cold, remove from refrigerator and place in a large bowl. Stir rice to remove clumps. Combine reserved tomato water with vinegar and remaining olive oil. Stir well to combine. Add dressing and mozzarella to risotto, and toss to coat well. Refrigerate, covered until ready to serve.


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This page created July 2000