Shrimp + Asparagus Risotto
Yield 6 Servings | Prep Time 30 min | Cook Time: 30 min
1 pound of 16 / 20 shrimp, Mayport, if possible, peeled and deveined (reserve shells)
1 small carrot, peeled and roughly chopped
1 rib celery, washed and roughly chopped
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
8 cups of water
1 cup of Congaree and Penn Middlins
1 tablespoons Congaree and Penn pecan oil
1/4 pound of butter, cut in two portions
1 bushel of asparagus, tips remove and split in half, stalks cut into 1/4” rounds.
2 lemons, juice and zest only
1 bay leaf
1/2 bunch of Italian flat leaf parsley, washed and finely chopped.
1 cup feta cheese
1 small whole fennel bulb (green top too), bulb sliced thinly, middle stalks removed, and tops roughly chopped
Salt and cracked black pepper to taste
In a 4 quart saucepan, combine water, carrot, celery, onion, and shrimp shells, and boil until volume of liquid has reduced by about half. This is the broth from which you will use to build your risotto. It will need to be strained through a coffee filter or fine mesh strainer to leave out any chunks or unwanted food bits.
Return broth to a small saucepan and heat until steaming. Add middlins and stir to prevent rice from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Add bay leaf, half of the butter, and half the lemon juice and zest, and continue to stir occasionally over medium heat as the rice cooks. By the time the rice fully absorbs the broth (approximately 15-20 minutes), the rice should be near finished and al dente, or have just a touch of texture, enough to stick to your teeth just a bit. If the rice is still underdone, splash water in the risotto to maintain the creamy consistency, but still cook the rice. Finish the risotto by adding the asparagus rounds, chopped parsley, and feta cheese. Leave covered, off heat, until shrimp are finished cooking.
Season and sear the shrimp in the rest of the butter. Keeping the shrimp warm in the pan, pour the butter into the risotto and stir in. Plate the risotto into bowls, with shrimp on top.
To garnish, combine split asparagus tips with the sliced and chopped fennel and dress the “salad” with the remaining lemon juice, and pecan oil, season with salt and pepper, then top the risotto with the salad. Finish with feta cheese on top. Enjoy!
Recipe by Trey Hartinger | Photo by Stefanie Keeler