Yes, yes, I know that the only real way to make risotto is over the stove. I do it all winter long. But that was then and this is now. A very warm now, and anyway I told you all I was retiring the stove for the summer.
I had some beautiful asparagus to use up and I'm a little (possibly extremely) tired of salad. And besides, Lora Brody said it would work. Plus I wanted risotto and I was desperate. (But we had salad with it too, dammit!)
The recipe specified two hours in the slow cooker set on high. At one hour my risotto was looking close to done and was perfect half an hour later. At two hours (I was waiting for Jack to get home) it was the opposite of al dente. It tasted nice, but it was a bit soggy. Still, I'll be trying this again with a shorter cooking time. The notion of risotto in the height of summer without heating up the kitchen (or myself!) is one I find difficult to resist.
I substituted chopped leeks for shallots, as I had some needing to be used up, and decreased the amount of olive oil substantially.
1 pound asparagus
1/4 cup olive oil
2 shallots, peeled and minced
1 1/4 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
3-3/4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
1 tsp. salt
1/2 or 2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Cut the asparagus into 1 to 1 1/2-inch pieces and blanch for about two minutes in boiling, salted water. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus pieces to a bowl of cold water, shocking it into a lovely bright green color and stopping it from cooking. Drain and set aside.
Heat the oil over medium heat, and saute the shallots (or sliced leeks!) until they have softened. Add the rice and stir until all of the grains are coated with the olive oil. Add the wine and scrap up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
Transfer to the slow cooker and stir in the chicken broth and salt. Cover and cook on High for about 2 hours or until all liquid is absorbed. Just before serving, stir in the asparagus and cheese.