Is there anything better than creamy risotto with lemony asparagus, fresh leeks, and slivered garlic almonds? The answer to that would be no, there's really not anything better.
Recipes, Savory Dishes

Lemony Asparagus Risotto with Leeks and Garlic Almonds

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Is there anything better than creamy risotto with lemony asparagus, fresh leeks, and slivered garlic almonds? The answer to that would be no, there’s really not anything better.

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The Best Risotto Recipe, Ever.

There are few things that I love more than a good risotto. Risotto can be rich, creamy, and oh so decadent. But it’s also a very versatile dish. Because the rice has no flavor, the flavor really comes from the ingredients used for the base and any toppings added. I’ve made (and eaten) quite a few risotto recipes in my day and I can say with absolute certainty that this is the best EVER.

There’s a few reasons why this risotto is so delicious and beats all of the other recipes out there.

  1. Champagne instead of wine: Yes, you read that right. While most risotto recipes can for a splash of a dry white wine, this risotto recipe utilizes champagne. The bubbles here really bring a freshness to the risotto, while still adding rich flavor.
  2. The addition of leeks: I love spring for many reasons, but the main one is because leeks are in season! They have a sweet, oniony flavor that adds depth to soups, stews, pastas, and- of course- risotto.
  3. Slivered garlic almonds: You won’t find almonds in most risotto recipes, but the other recipes don’t know what they’re missing. Using slivered garlic almonds from Sante Nuts as the final topping bring this whole dish together.

I could go on, and on about reasons why I love this recipe, but those are definitely the top three. The addition of all three of these unique changes is what makes this recipe like no risotto you’ve ever had before. Plus, it’s so much easier to make than you would ever think!

This vibrant recipe with seasonal ingredients is the perfect dish to kick off spring!
This vibrant recipe with seasonal ingredients is the perfect dish to kick off spring!

The Base: Champagne, Leeks, & Butter- oh my!

As previously stated, every good risotto recipe starts with a killer base. The base is what all other flavors will build off of. Ultimately, the base will make or break a risotto dish.

Start by adding 1/4 cup of unsalted butter to a large pot or Dutch oven. Melt the butter over medium heat, then add one large leek that’s been diced, one minced shallot, and four cloves of minced garlic. While many would opt to use the leek on its own and not pair it with the shallot, the combination of the two creates a deeper flavor. Sauté for about five minutes until the shallot is translucent.

Now, add one cup of arborio rice. You want to toast the rice before adding the champagne. Toasting the rice in the base creates a rich flavor. Season with one a half teaspoons of pepper and one teaspoon salt. After two minutes, add one fourth cup of champagne of your choice. Stir consistently until the champagne is absorbed, then reduce the heat to medium-low.

One of the keys to this recipe is cooking the asparagus last so it doesn't get wilted.
One of the keys to this recipe is cooking the asparagus last so it doesn’t get wilted.

Vegetable Broth, and Then Some More

You’ve probably heard that one of the secrets to good risotto is using warm broth. This is 100% true! The vegetable broth here needs to be warm so it’s better absorbed by the rice.

Heat half a cup of vegetable broth in the microwave at a time before adding it to the risotto. Stir as you pour in the broth, and continue to stir until absorbed. Then, repeat this process until three and a half cups of vegetable broth have been added. You must stir consistently so that the rice does not burn. Trust me, you’ll feel this in your arms once you’re done!

Time to Finish This Dish

Once the last half cup of vegetable broth has been absorbed, add 1 cup of grated parmesan cheese. Stir in to the risotto, then season with one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of lemon zest, and two teaspoons of red pepper flakes.

Now for the asparagus! Remove the stems and cut the asparagus into thirds. Add to a pan with one tablespoon of olive oil and sauté over medium heat. Season with two teaspoons of lemon juice, one teaspoon of pepper, and a half a teaspoon of salt. Once slightly soft but still firm- about seven minutes- add to the risotto. Stir to combine the asparagus, then serve up.

Finish the risotto with one fourth cup of sliced basil leaves, 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, and half a cup of slivered and toasted garlic almonds. The BEST garlic almonds are from Sante Nuts! The flavor of these nuts is outstanding and perfect finish to our dish. Use my code “BOTTOMLESSPIT” for 15% off your order on the Sante Nuts website!

Lemony Asparagus Risotto with Leeks and Slivered Garlic Almonds

Recipe by Arianna NegriCourse: Lunch, DinnerDifficulty: Medium
Servings

6

Servings
Prep time

25

minutes
Cooking time

35

minutes

It doesn’t get any better than this fresh, creamy, and seasonal risotto recipe!

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup of unsalted butter

  • 1 large leek, washed and diced

  • 1 shallot, minced

  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced

  • 1 cup of arborio rice

  • 3 teaspoons of pepper

  • 2 teaspoons of salt

  • 1/4 cup of champagne

  • 3 1/2 cups of vegetable broth, warm

  • 1 cup of parmesan cheese, grated

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon juice

  • 2 teaspoons of lemon zest

  • 2 teaspoons of red pepper flakes, plus more for garnish

  • 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and cut into thirds

  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil

  • 1/2 cup garlic almonds, slivered

  • 1/4 cup of basil leaves, sliced

Directions

  • Add the butter to a large pot or Dutch oven
  • Melt over medium heat, then add the diced leek, minced shallot, and garlic cloves
  • Sauté over medium heat for five minutes or until the shallot is translucent
  • Add the rice and toast for two minutes, add a two teaspoons of pepper and a teaspoon of salt
  • Pour the champagne into the pot and stir until its been absorbed by the rice, then reduce the heat to medium-low
  • Next, add half a cup of warm vegetable broth at a time- stirring consistently
  • Once all of the vegetable broth has been absorbed, stir in the parmesan cheese
  • Season the risotto with one teaspoon of lemon juice, one teaspoon of lemon zest, and the red pepper flakes
  • Add the asparagus to a medium-sized saucepan with the olive oil
  • Sauté over medium-high heat, season with one teaspoon lemon juice, one teaspoon pepper, and a pinch of salt
  • Once the asparagus is slightly soft, but still crunchy, add it to the risotto and stir to combine
  • Serve up the risotto, and finish the dishes with one teaspoon lemon zest, a dash of red pepper flakes, and freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • Finally, add the sliced basil leaves and slivered garlic almonds, then enjoy!

Notes

  • Heat the vegetable broth in the microwave before adding to the risotto

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