From Asparagus to Zucchini: A Guide to Cooking Farm-Fresh Seasonal Produce


1 pound asparagus, tough ends removed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onions
1 Tb minced garlic
1-1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 pinch saffron threads, crushed
3/4 cup white wine
6-8 cups chicken stock, hot
2 Tb butter
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup bread crumbs
Oil or butter for pan-frying cakes


Steam asparagus over boiling water 4-5 minutes. Rinse in cold water and chop. Heat olive oil in saucepan over medium flame; add onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic; cook 1 minute longer. Add rice and stir 2 minutes. Add saffron and wine. Simmer hard, stirring, until liquid is reduced by half. And 1/2 cup stock, stir until absorbed. Continue to add stock 1/2 cup at a time and stir constantly until absorbed, until rice is cooked through and begins to clump. Add butter, cheese, lemon juice, asparagus, salt, and pepper. Spread on baking sheet; cool. Form patties and dip into bread crumbs. Heat oil or butter in skillet; sauté cakes until golden brown on both sides. Makes 4 large or 6-8 smaller servings.