When I originally thought about doing ASPARAGUS WEEK (I like it in all caps like that) my plan was to cook all the recipes in Jamie Oliver's book Jamie at Home. Ultimately decided against it--one of the recipes includes some difficult-to-get-fresh-in-Kansas seafood, for starters--but most of the recipes I'm planning to make this week do come from Jamie. What can I say? The boy knows his asparagus!
Last night, as it was a bit dreary and chilly out, we had Asparagus, Mint, and Lemon Risotto from the book Cook With Jamie. (Probably the most expensive cookbook I've ever purchased, but worth every penny!) My modifications?
First, I put the asparagus in much later than Jamie would have you do--I added it with my last cup of stock. My asparagus is also a bit chunkier than Jamie's. Obviously, the later addition and bigger pieces means the asparagus gets less cooked, but I like asparagus (and, in fact, most veggies) just half a degree above raw, so that's how they get cooked 'round here!
Also, I always use less butter than Jamie suggests. His measurements on the website are in metric, but the book suggests 7 tablespoons of butter if you follow the recipe exactly. I generally use anywhere between 1 tablespoon (when I'm feeling chubby that day) to 3 tablespoons (which does make it lovely and creamy)--much more than that is just unnecessary.
EDITED TO ADD: Correction! I also diverged from Jamie in that I only used two pans instead of three. (Neither Kathy [risotto goddess], nor I can figure out why you would dirty a third pan.) I just heated the stock in one pan, and did the risotto in another. Then I gradually added the stock to the risotto, and added the asparagus to the risotto pan with the last addition of stock.