Spring Beauty Supper: Asparagus Sage Risotto

Asparagus Sage Risotto, adapted from Mario Batali's Asparagus Risotto

Risotto is a dish that requires more patience than culinary expertise. And even though it's not incredibly complicated, it always seems to impress your dinner guests (even if that's just your roommate). But what may impress them even more is the amazing beauty nutrition knowledge that you'll be able to tell them as they chow down on this perfect spring dish:

ASPARAGUS is a major anti-aging food because it boosts the body's production of glutathione, an anti-inflammatory nutrient that can stop the action of some enzymes that naturally break down collagenβ€” which contributes to wrinkles! Asparagus is also a diuretic that reduces bloat and water retention. Keri Glassman, author of Slim, Calm, Sexy Diet, says that asparagus are calming foods, thanks to their high levels of folate (a super-important nutrient for pregnant mamas). The fiber in asparagus also contributes to healthy gut bacteria (and a healthy gut is one must-have for glowing skin).

Ready to transform this beauty food into an equally gorgeous dinner?

Asparagus Sage Risotto
Recipe Type: Main
Author: Jolene Hart, adapted from Mario Batali
Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Serves: 4
Asparagus is a major beauty food, and this risotto is a wonderful way to get lots of it in your diet while it's at the height of freshness. Those with acne issues may want to omit the Parmesan cheese to prevent breakouts.
Ingredients
  • 2 lbs asparagus, tough stems removed and chopped into 1" pieces
  • 6 to 7 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups arborio rice
  • 5 sage leaves, torn
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Set the asparagus tips and some of the most tender stems (about half of the total asparagus) aside. In a medium pot, boil water and blanch the rest of the asparagus stems, 5 minutes. Drain and puree in a food processor or blender with a few tbsp water.
  2. Warm vegetable broth and keep it on the stove on low while you cook the risotto.
  3. For risotto, melt butter in a medium pot and add onions, cooking 3 to 5 minutes until soft but not brown.
  4. Add rice and cook another 3 minutes before adding the torn sage leaves and the first 1/2 cup warm broth. When broth is almost completely absorbed, add another 1/2 cup broth. Continue this process for 15 minutes, adding another 1/2 cup broth only when the previous cup has been almost fully absorbed.
  5. After 15 minutes, add reserved asparagus tips. Keep adding broth in 1/2 cup increments until rice reaches a soft but not mushy texture. Add asparagus puree and Parmesan (if using) and season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

 

Just after adding the asparagus spears...almost there.