Asparagus Parsley Pesto Risotto Bake

March 21, 2007 · 4 comments · Print This Post

in Dinner, Pasta / Grains, Vegetarian

Asparagus is my favorite vegetable so I jumped at the chance to try the Asparagus Parsley Pesto Risotto Bake featured in the April issue of Rachael Ray’s magazine. Admittedly, I was a little freaked out by the whole “risotto bake” part of the title. I wasn’t entirely sure if it was going to work, but my curiosity at testing out the baking capabilities of my new Target Chefmate Dutch Oven won out over my apprehensions. Not to mention, that as much as I love risotto, it can be a bit labor intensive stirring a hot pot of rice continuously for 20-30 minutes. In fact, I’ve been known to read a book in order to combat culinary boredom during that step.

Anyway, the dish ended up having a decidedly “Spring-like” feel, taste, and look and I really loved that the asparagus stayed crisp and turned a gorgeous shade of green after its brief baking time. Unfortunately, the first evening that I ate it I really wasn’t happy with the outcome. I felt that something was missing, but then I ate leftovers of the dish on two consecutive days and it was 3000 times better. In fact, I would actually go so far as to categorize it as delicious! Upon sitting overnight the lemon and parsley pesto really had a chance to flavor the dish to a whole new level that just wasn’t there during the initial serving. To remedy this issue, next time I plan to bake the Arborio rice completely in chicken stock (substituting extra stock for water) and also adding lemon juice, white wine, and extra zest to the dish as well. Practice makes perfect…

Onion Again
Onions Again
Toasty Rice
Toasty Rice
Add the Stock
Add the Stock
Parsley, Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Lemon
Parsley, Pine Nuts, Parmesan, and Lemon
Add Cheese & Asparagus,  Bake Again
Add Cheese & Asparagus, Bake Again
Spring Has Sprung
Spring Has Sprung

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Hänni March 22, 2007 at 5:38 pm

I think you should make this for me next time I’m in town.

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2 Erin March 22, 2007 at 6:18 pm

Hänni, Your wish is my command! We love having you here!

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3 Miriam March 27, 2007 at 11:46 pm

I giggle when people say they hate eating left overs. They miss out on recipes like this–recipes that get better overnight! 🙂

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4 Madeline Miller April 4, 2007 at 8:56 pm

I’m one of those “I don’t eat leftovers” people, but I do have exceptiongs. Pizza and fried rice are two of them. Maybe this could be added to the list.

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