Spring Asparagus with Pea Risotto
6 cups chicken stock, warmed
3 sprigs thyme, picked
3 sprigs oregano, picked
1 bunch basil, picked
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 ½ tbsp Kosher salt
½ teaspoon black pepper
6 tbsp Rouses Novello Olive Oil
1 bunch asparagus, ends trimmed
6 tablespoons butter, unsalted
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup Sauvignon Blanc
1 cup frozen peas, thawed and drained
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated
Heat the chicken stock in a 5qt pot over medium low heat
In a blender, combine the thyme, oregano, basil, 3 cloves garlic, ½ tablespoon salt, ½ teaspoon black pepper, and 4 tablespoons Rouses Novello Olive Oil. Puree until smooth and set aside.
Trim the bottom end of the asparagus and discard. Cut 2 inches off the tips of the asparagus and set aside. Chop the remainder of the asparagus.
Cook the chopped asparagus in the warmed chicken stock, remove, and rinse under cold water.
Place the cooked asparagus in the blender with 1/3 of the herb pesto and blend with some of the chicken stock until smooth. Set aside.
In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the remaining Novello Olive Oil and 3 tbsp of butter over medium heat.
Add the onion and sweat until tender without adding any color to the onions.
Add the remaining garlic and sweat for another 30 seconds
Add the Arborio rice to the pan and toast the grains for 2 to 3 minutes to coat with the fat from the pan.
Add the Sauvignon Blanc, and gently stir until the wine is almost completely absorbed.
Add a ½ cup of chicken stock to the rice while gently stirring. As the liquid is absorbed, add more stock to the pan.
While adding stock to the rice, cook the tips of the Asparagus in the pot of chicken stock. Remove and set aside for garnish.
With 1 cup of stock remaining in the pot, add the Peas to the pan along with the asparagus puree.
Finish adding the chicken stock to the pan and season with the remaining Kosher Salt, Butter, and most of the Parmigiano Reggiano.
Serve the finished Risotto in a bowl, garnish with the asparagus tips, herb pesto, and a sprinkle of Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.