Okay, so this was more like my fourth risotto. But each attempt yields more or less the same results. It's edible enough, even good. But it's not great. There's no 'wow' factor. My rice is too al dente, the overall effect not as creamy as I think it needs to be.
I followed a recipe from my favorite food blog; you'll see this blog come up again and again. Deb is one of my food blogger heroes. I left out the artichoke because 1) that was the most time-intensive portion of the dish and 2) I'm just not a huge fan of the artichoke unless I'm dipping it in butter or eating it mashed up in a creamy dip.
There are two things I'd have done differently. First, I'd have roasted my asparagus in the oven -- I *hate* boiling asparagus, and I should have followed my instincts. It never comes out crisp once you've killed it in boiling water, and I've yet to find a time or place when I'd prefer my asparagus any other way than roasted at a very high temp with a drizzle of olive oil. Second, I'd have added another cup of chicken stock (I used low sodium, and I can't tell the difference). I felt like the rice could have used a bit more cooking, but I had no simmering broth left and hoped it would continue to cook further if I immediately took it out of the pot and boxed it up in Tupperware. No such luck. Third -- I guess three things I'd do differently -- I might double the amount of onion next time. Because I have never, ever protested extra onion in any dish ever, as long as it's crispy, oily, salted just right.
I'll try this recipe again, but I can't say I'll be in a huge rush. There are too many other risottos to attempt, including this one.
(Editor's note: A fourth and obvious alteration would be the use of homemade chicken stock. Which I intend to make sometime soon!)