Risotto is an Italian rice dish cooked in broth to a creamy consistency. It normally contains olive oil, wine, and onion. It is one of the most common ways of cooking rice in Italy. The rice, onions, and olive oil is first cooked briefly to coat each grain. Water, broth, and wine is then added to be absorbed by the rice while stirring gently, almost constantly, which loosens the starch molecules from the outside of the rice into the surrounding liquid, creating a smooth, creamy texture.
3 cups green tea (sencha)
1 cup dry white wine
1 cups of chicken broth
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 cup finely chopped white onion
2 cups Arborio rice (risotto)
5 ounces wild mushrooms, cooked and coarsely chopped, approximately 3/4 cup
7 ounces asparagus, cooked and cut into 1-inch pieces, approximately 1 1/2 cups
2 ounces grated Parmesan, approximately 1/2 cup
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Place three heaping teaspoons of fresh quality green tea into a teapot and add three cups of hot water at 165°-175°F, steep for two minutes, and pour off through a filter into a quart container. In a medium saucepan, combine the tea, chicken stock, and wine and heat just to simmering. Keep warm. Then, heat 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil using medium heat in a medium skillet and add the wild mushrooms and asparagus Remove from heat when starting to soften.
In a large 3 to 4-quart heavy saucepan over medium heat, add the remaining olive oil, onions, and a pinch of salt, and sweat until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the rice and stir. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until the rice is translucent around the edges. Be careful not to allow the grains of rice or the onions to brown.
Reduce the heat to low. Add enough of the tea, chicken stock, and wine to cover the top of the rice. Stir often, until the liquid is close to fully absorbed into the rice. Then, add another amount of the liquid to cover the rice again and continue stirring as before. There should be just enough liquid left to repeat one more time. It should take approximately 18 to 22 minutes for most of the liquid to be absorbed. Add the mushrooms, asparagus, and the last remaining liquid. Stir until it has been mostly, but not completely absorbed, The risotto should be creamy and the asparagus heated through. Remove from heat and stir in the Parmesan. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
By Certified Tea Master Chas Kroll