Lemon Asparagus Risotto
with Fresh Thyme
- 12 ounces asparagus
- 1 lemon
- Fresh thyme
- 1 onion
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil*
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine or water*
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- *not included
Rinse and dry the asparagus, lemon, and thyme. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Trim the asparagus and chop it into 1-inch pieces. Peel and chop the onion and 1 garlic clove. Zest the lemon using the small side of a box grater or a microplane; set aside. Halve the lemon and juice it into a small bowl. Strip enough thyme leaves from the stems to measure 1/2 teaspoon (save the rest for another use).
Add the asparagus to the boiling water and cook until it’s bright green and tender, 3 to 5 minutes. Fish out the asparagus with a slotted spoon and transfer itto a colander; rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process. Put 2 tablespoons oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until the onions soften a bit, 2 or 3 minutes. Add the rice and toast until it’s glistening and hot, about a minute.
Add 1/2 cup wine or hot water from the large pot and stir until it’s almost completely absorbed. Begin adding hot water from the pot 1/2 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and frequently, and adjusting the heat as necessary so the mixture bubbles enthusiastically without burning. When the water is just about evaporated, add another 1/2 cup; the mixture should be neither soupy nor dry.
Begin tasting the rice after about 15 minutes; it should be tender but still have a tiny bit of crunch (it may take as long as 30 minutes to reach this stage). When it’s ready, add the nutritional yeast, lemon zest, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, thyme, and asparagus and stir. Taste and adjust the seasoning; serve in shallow bowls.