Smoked Salmon Risotto with Lemon, Mascarpone and Asparagus

A little while back I made the BEST risotto I have ever eaten in my entire life, with peas, prosciutto and mascarpone. It was so creamy, fresh and flavorful that I didn’t think it could be beat. Then today I decided to try… I kept the basic recipe for the creamy risotto with parmesan and mascarpone, but added fresh lemon, smoked salmon and asparagus–and it was just as to-die-for delicious as the last recipe, but a little more seasonal and ‘different.’ The more I cook risottos, the more I love them! People tend to be afraid to make them because they seem to be a lot of work, but out of everything I have cooked, this dish is by far the most “relaxing!” There’s just something so therapeutic to me about standing in one place and gently stirring, rather than running around my kitchen worrying about the timing and preparing of several different components. Plus, two pans and one spoon is your whole clean up! Seriously love that! I can’t wait to make some more fresh, delicious risotto variations this summer! Although this recipe will be another hard one to beat!

Ingredients:
5 1/2 cups chicken broth/stock
4 ounces smoked salmon, sliced
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp mined garlic (2 cloves)
1 cup arborio rice
1/3 cup dry white wine
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/3 cup mascarpone cheese
1 bunch asparagus
1 lemon (1/2 for juicing and half for serving).

Directions:
Bring the chicken broth to a simmer in a saucepan over medium-high heat; cover and keep warm. Meanwhile, melt 2 Tbsp butter in a saucepan over medium heat and cook the garlic until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Add the rice and cook, stirring, 2 more minutes.
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Add the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add 1/2 cup warm broth and stir constantly until absorbed. Repeat, adding the broth in 1/2-cup increments and stirring constantly, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is just tender and creamy, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat.

Add the mascarpone, parmesan cheese, and the juice of 1/2 lemon to the risotto, and stir gently until it’s well combined. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. SONY DSC

Trim the ends off the asparagus, wrap in damp paper towels, and place seam side down in the microwave for 4 minutes. {P.S. I know this method might seem like cheating, but I promise it will perfectly steam the asparagus and make it crisp-tender!} Plate the risotto, top with the smoked salmon, asparagus, and lemon. (Not necessarily in the ugly way presented!)
SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSC SONY DSCI tried to get creative with my presentation, and totally failed! I know it’s probably one of the ugliest dishes I have ever plated, but that’s why cooking is my “creative process” sometimes things go right, and sometimes you learn! {I think I just stole that quote from pinterest}!

I promise this dish is WAY more delicious than it looks, so as usual, enjoy!
<3 Sarah