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Spring Risotto with Asparagus

3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 12 ounces asparagus spears, thinly sliced on the diagonal into 2 inch pieces, blanched 1 small onion, finely chopped 3 Tablespoon minced garlic 1½ cups Arborio rice ½ cup white wine 6 to 8 cups hot chicken stock (Pacific brand) 1 Tablespoons butter (optional) ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated 3 Tbs. finely chopped flat leaf parsley Zest of one lemon Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Heat stock and keep warm. In a large sauté pan add the olive oil and sauté the onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until translucent. Add in the garlic. Add rice and sauté for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add wine and cook until wine is absorbed. Begin adding stock 1 cup at a time while stirring rice until almost all liquid is absorbed. Continue adding stock in the same manner until rice is done (about 15 min.) Add in the asparagus when rice still has about 2more minutes to cook, and most of the stock has been used. When done, rice will be tender and creamy with a slight crunch in the center. Remove from heat and add in lemon zest, butter and cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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