Whether steamed, grilled, stir-fried or sauteed, asparagus makes an easy and attractive accompaniment to almost any entree. Buy extra for a quick saute one night, then use the leftovers for asparagus risotto another night.
You’ll need three bunches. Snap off the fibrous bottom end of each spear. If the spears are thick, peel them from below the tip to the base using a vegetable peeler. Cut the spears on the diagonal into 1-inch lengths. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons of butter and 1/2 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat. Swirl to coat the pan, and cook the asparagus until crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Reserve 2 cups for this risotto. To garnish the saute, sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top.
Look in the rice and pasta aisle of well-stocked supermarkets for Arborio rice. It is also available at specialty stores.
Morgan is author of “The Thanksgiving Table: Recipes and Ideas to Create Your Own Holiday Tradition” (Chronicle Books, $18.95).