Artichoke and Asparagus Risotto

In this recipe, you'll love the prevalence of the fresh herbs amid the warm, creamy rice, asparagus and artichokes. Though risotto doesn't need constant stirring, it does require close attention to prevent scorching. The whole cooking process takes 20 to 25 minutes.

1 (12-oz.) jar marinated quartered artichokes
6 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion, coarsely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 1/2 cups Arborio Rice*
1 cup sliced asparagus (1 inch)
1/2 cup white wine or additional lower-sodium chicken broth
1/2 to 1 tablespoon chopped fresh marjoram, oregano or thyme
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

1. Drain artichokes, reserving 2 tablespoons marinade. Bring broth to a boil in large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cover; reduce heat to low to maintain a simmer.

2. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in large saucepan over medium heat. Cook onion 3 minutes or until softened, stirring frequently. Stir in rice and 1 tablespoon of the reserved marinade until coated; cook 2 minutes or until barely opaque, stirring constantly.

3. Add 1 1/2 cups of the hot broth; reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, stirring frequently. Continue adding broth, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking and stirring frequently. After 4 cups of the broth have been added, stir in asparagus. Add remaining broth 1/2 cup at a time until all the liquid has been absorbed and rice is al dente, stirring frequently and adjusting heat as necessary. Add wine, artichokes, remaining 1 tablespoon reserved marinade and marjoram, stirring until creamy. Stir in cheese and remaining 1 tablespoon butter.

4 (1 1/4-cup) servings

PER SERVING: 490 calories, 15.5 g total fat (8.5 g saturated fat), 18 g protein, 68.5 g carbohydrate, 30 mg cholesterol, 1255 mg sodium, 7 g fiber

TIP *Arborio rice is an Italian short-grained rice. The fat grains are very starchy and, therefore, perfect for making risotto because the excess starch helps create the creaminess necessary for this rice dish. Arborio rice can be found in most grocery stores as well as Italian markets or gourmet stores.


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