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Asiago Vegetable Risotto

Servings: 8

Ingredients:

2/3 cup (6 ounces) butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
3 1/2 cups chicken broth, divided
Pinch of saffron threads
1 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/4 inch half-rounds
1 cup asparagus, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/2 cup red pepper, diced
2 green onions, sliced
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup (4 ounces) Wisconsin asiago cheese, shredded
2 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
4 ounces bacon, preferably applewood-smoked bacon, chopped and cooked crisp

Cooking Directions:

In 3-quart pan, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil over medium-high heat. Add rice and stir continuously until edges of kernels are translucent; about 3 to 4 minutes. Add 1/2 cup broth and stir until it is absorbed; about 3 minutes. Reduce heat to medium and add another 1/2 cup broth, saffron, zucchini, asparagus, red pepper, onions and pepper. Cook until all liquid is absorbed; stirring frequently. Continue to add remaining broth, 1/2 cup at a time, cooking until liquid is absorbed each time. When all liquid has been added and absorbed, stir in lemon juice, Asiago and remaining butter. Mixture should be creamy and rice should be al dente.

Before serving, stir in basil, pine nuts and bacon.

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