1 bunch asparagus
6 cups 99% fat-free chicken broth
2 tablespoons Cabot Unsalted Butter
1 onion, minced
1½ cups Arborio rice
¼ cup dry white wine
1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1½ cups Cabot Seriously Sharp Cheddar
Salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
BRING large pot of salted water to boil. Prepare bowl of ice water.
TRIM off and discard tough ends of asparagus. Cut off tips. Cut stalks into 2-inch pieces, peeling first if skin is tough.
ADD asparagus to boiling water and cook for 2 to 3 minutes or just until al dente. Drain immediately and place in ice water until cooled. Drain and set aside.
BRING chicken broth to simmer in a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat. While broth heats, melt butter in large heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 8 minutes.
ADD rice and stir until lightly toasted and coated in butter, about 1 minute longer. Add wine and stir until absorbed, about 2 minutes.
ADD ½ cup of broth, stirring often until absorbed. Continue adding broth, about ½ cup at a time, allowing liquid to be absorbed before adding more and stirring often.
ALLOW risotto to reach creamy consistency, with almost all of broth absorbed. Add tomatoes, thyme and reserved asparagus, stirring to combine.
ADD cheddar and remaining broth to risotto, stirring to melt and combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.
Recipe courtesy of Liz Harty, a Boston-based chef, food writer and the Catering Manager at Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge, MA.