Courtesy Tim Wood, executive chef, Valley Kitchen at Carmel Valley Ranch
Serves 8 to 10
1 large onion, finely diced (same size as grains of rice)
1 pound Arborio rice
1 cup white wine (Chardonnay)
Hot water or stock, simmering
3 tablespoons butter
1½ cups Parmigiano-Reggiano, grated
1 cup Spring Asparagus Purée (see recipe here)
Salt and pepper
Preheat a medium size, heavy-bottomed pot. Add a small amount of olive oil. Sauté onions until translucent. Add rice and stir until combined. Deglaze pot with the wine.
When the alcohol has cooked off, begin adding the liquid in small amounts, about a cup at a time. This much rice needs about 9 cups of liquid. When he’s at home and doesn’t have homemade stock to use, Wood uses filtered water, as he believes it’s better than using canned and he wants the asparagus to shine through anyways, but organic vegetable stock works well here. Continue stirring rice and test the doneness at intervals.
When the rice is cooked to your liking, add asparagus purée, butter and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Should be creamy when finished.
Chef Hack: To make ahead, stop the cooking when rice is almost done. Spread rice on a cookie sheet and put in the refrigerator. When ready to serve, reheat by adding a cup of water. Add purée, butter, cheese and salt and pepper to finish.
Garnish with small, inside celery leaves and extra virgin olive oil, or radishes and pea shoots.