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Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Risotto

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Recipe: Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Risotto
Dave Scantland
Risotto is not difficult, but it does require time and stirring. It's a great dish if you have small amounts of leftover cooked meat, fish or vegetables you want to use up; for instance, you could substitute ham for the smoked salmon or sugar snap peas for the asparagus. This recipe makes two main-dish servings.

Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 ounces asparagus
  • 2-3 ounces hot smoked salmon
  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken stock or broth*
  • 2 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2-3 scallions, diced (about 1/4 cup)
  • Kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup arborio, carnaroli or other short grained rice
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill or parsley (optional)

Preparation:

1. Remove the woody stem ends from the asparagus and cut the stalks into lengths about 1-1/2 inches long. Bring a small pot of salted water to a boil and blanch the asparagus for 3-4 minutes, or just until done. Drain and set aside. (You can also steam the asparagus for 6 minutes.) You should have about a cup of cooked asparagus.

2. Cut or flake the salmon into small chunks. Set aside and let it come to room temperature if chilled.

3. Heat the broth in a saucepan and keep warm.

4. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a heavy saucepan over medium heat. When the butter stops foaming, add the scallions and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes, until the onions soften slightly. Season with a pinch of salt. Add the rice and stir to coat with butter. Add the wine to the pot and bring to a simmer. Cook for a couple of minutes, until the wine has mostly evaporated.

5. Add a half cup or so of the hot stock and stir until it has mostly absorbed into the rice. Continue to add broth, a ladleful at a time, as broth is absorbed. Stir regularly as you add the broth. After about 20 minutes, check the rice to see if it's done. It should be tender, but firm in the center. Add more broth and continue to cook if necessary. (*Note: you probably will not need all 4 cups of broth, but I always prefer to have more than not enough.)

6. When the rice is done, stir in the remaining tablespoon of butter and half the dill, if using. Taste and add more salt if necessary. Remove from the heat and gently fold in the steamed asparagus tips and smoked salmon. Let sit for a minute until the salmon and asparagus are heated through. Sprinkle with remaining dill before serving.

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