Monday, April 16, 2012

Meatless Monday - Asparagus Risotto Almondine

As many of you know, I’m actively trying to reduce the amount of meat my family eats, both for environmental and health reasons. Sometimes it is easier than others and one of the times I find it very easy is during asparagus season. I adore asparagus and will eat it served just about any way you can think of. I like to dip gently steamed asparagus spears in soft boiled eggs, bathe it in melted butter and use it in vegetable lasagna and pastas. My love affair with this gorgeous vegetable goes back to my childhood. My late Mom cultivated several asparagus crowns in our garden, and spoke fondly of her own childhood suppers of a plate of asparagus fresh from my Grandmother’s much larger garden crowned with gently poached eggs. There is nothing like freshly picked asparagus. It’s also a nutritional powerhouse - a good source of B vitamins and calcium, asparagus also contains folate, potassium, calcium and zinc. 

Because of the fond memories attached to it I consider asparagus comfort food, so it seems only natural to me to pair it with one of the most soothing foods on the planet, risotto. Whether you are cooking it or eating it, risotto is comfort food almost personified. The repetitive stirring required to cook risotto properly soothes the soul and the texture and flavour bring to mind both real and imagined nursery suppers. Despite a reputation for being time consuming, risotto only takes about a half hour to prepare. In fact, risotto is one of my go to last minute suppers. 

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