ARIA’s Mushroom and Asparagus Risotto

by Forager on April 24, 2013

We recently celebrated our first wedding anniversary and took the opportunity to reminisce about our wedding day. There was all that stress in the preceding 3 months, and the Co-pilot is quick to remind me that I did at times transform into a fire breathing nightmare dragon lady.. But all the stress seemed worthwhile when it all miraculously came together on the day.

There were so many fond food memories from our wedding day but the memory of the risotto station is particularly pertinent. By the early evening on our wedding day we were married, had cut our cheese cake, had supped on canapes, charcuterie and pizzas, drunk plenty and supped again. We were well and truly beyond full and I was rather thankful that the corset of my wedding dress had me tightly trussed like a ham. And then at dusk, the risotto station came to life.

The risotto station by day

The risotto station by day, mysteriously teasing guests of things to come

ARIA Catering mushroom asparagus risotto station

The risotto station coming alive by night. The mushroom and asparagus risotto spilled onto a waiting table in front of waiting guests and dressed with generous handfuls of slivered asparagus, mushrooms and shaved Parmesan

I remember the ARIA Catering chef suddenly emerging from the kitchen and pouring a hot molten stream of thick risotto onto a waiting board fringed with fresh ingredients and watching it puddle into a perfect circle. Our guests too are still fondly remembering it, with one avid foodie friend happily recalling the moment the risotto was served with the sort of reverence usually reserved for more momentous history making occasions: “I was right there when it happened!”, he still exclaims to me.

ARIA Catering mushroom asparagus risotto station

Close up of ARIA’s mushroom and asparagus risotto

Despite being horrendously full, I recall it being fragrant, hot and delicious and wishing I weren’t so full, but sadly both the Co-pilot and I could only muster one bowl of the stuff. The legend of the risotto has been a well discussed topic over the last year. Guests that had left our wedding early were sorry they’d missed it and we all wondered what happened to the remaining risotto, not wanting to think any of it had been wasted and still wistfully wishing we’d somehow had the retrospective hindsight to have saved some risotto doggy bags. Could it be that the Co-pilot and I both have glutton’s remorse?

We sorely felt the need to re-create the risotto we wished we’d had more of. I asked the ARIA Catering staff for the recipe, not expecting they’d actually give it to me and to my delight they did! We gathered our family together for the momentous remake of the risotto so we could finally eat our fill of it.

 

Aria Catering's mushroom and asparagus risotto, stock

Reducing the vegetable stock and adding in pungent dried mushroom rehydration stock

Aria Catering's mushroom and asparagus risotto

Patiently building the foundations of the risotto – adding the arborio rice to sauteed onions, shallots and mushrooms, then slowly adding stock

Aria Catering's mushroom and asparagus risotto

Adding all the trimmings to the cooked risotto – grated Parmesan, creme fraiche, herbs and chopped asparagus

When all the ingredients are added and stirred through, the plumes of truffle oil aroma mixed with sharp Parmesan and earthy mushrooms were so sensually inviting, but presentation wise, it’s hard to make it look a risotto look good. I developed even more appreciation for the impressive presentation of the risotto at our wedding.

ARIA Catering's mushroom and asparagus risotto

It’s doesn’t look that impressive, but if only you could smell and taste this..

And the verdict? My goodness it was delicious.

I was worried that our hazy, endorphin fuelled memories of our wedding day had permanently painted a subjective slick of overzealous positivity over what the risotto was really like. But it lived up to our high expectations. We savoured the flavours carefully, marvelling that although all the ingredients and even the method didn’t seem too out of the ordinary, the result was truly delicious and had us going back for seconds and thirds.

The finished result - ARIA's mushroom and asparagus risotto. A keeper.

The finished result – ARIA’s mushroom and asparagus risotto. A keeper.

Prior to tasting this risotto, one risotto alone occupied the top rank and blew away all would be competitors – the Co-pilot’s father’s signature dish, his baked mushroom risotto. But there’s a new kid in town and I have to say, this recipe is a strong contender for that top spot.

 

Many thanks to ARIA Catering for kindly sharing this risotto recipe.

 

 

 

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ai-Ling@blueapocalypse April 24, 2013 at 12:43 pm

Loved how ARIA served the risotto at your wedding. Looking forward to trying this recipe over winter!

2 Adrian (Food Rehab) April 30, 2013 at 11:52 pm

Alot of flavour in there and I can see it too. It’s hard to make risotto super presentable but it all comes down to the taste. Love the little bits of green throughout.
Adrian (Food Rehab) recently posted..Cola Addicts Glazed Lamb RibsMy Profile

3 Richard Elliot May 2, 2013 at 9:31 pm

Happy Anniversary to you and the Co-Pilot!
Richard Elliot recently posted..Restuarant Review: Koya, SohoMy Profile

4 Julianne Lever May 9, 2013 at 10:53 pm

It was great to meet you tonight. I love this risotto blog and wish I too was at your wedding it sounded so fun.

5 milkteaxx July 30, 2013 at 12:28 pm

i love mushrooms and risotto! defs bookmarking this!
milkteaxx recently posted..Lunch-ing by the harbour: Olivio’s HarboursideMy Profile

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