Slow Cooker Recipe: Asparagus & Asiago “Risotto”

I found this recipe in a crock pot cookbook my mother in law lent me and was intrigued. I’ve heard risotto is time consuming and hard to make so I’ve never tried it.

I’ve made this recipe twice and it’s super easy, delicious and filling! I add Cajun seasoned chicken to it because I like the extra protein and flavour. I’d love to hear other ideas to jazz it up!

Ingredients

2 cups chopped onion

1 cup uncooked converted rice (uncle ben’s works great)

2 medium garlic cloves, minced

1 can (14.5 ounces) chicken broth

½ pound asparagus spears, trimmed and broken into 1-inch pieces

1 to 1¼ cups half and half, divided

½ cup (about 4 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese, plus more for garnish (I used a three cheese blend with asiago for more flavour)

¼ cup (½ stick) butter, cut into small pieces

2 ounces pine nuts or slivered almonds, toasted (I haven’t tried these)

1 teaspoon salt

Directions

1. Combine onion, rice, garlic and broth in slow cooker. Stir until well blended; cover and cook on HIGH 2 hours or until rice is done (liquid is absorbed – I found mine finished in closer to 90 mins).

2. Stir in asparagus and 1/2 cup half-and-half. Cover and cook on HIGH 20 to 30 minutes more or until asparagus is just tender (I found it takes about 40 mins so it isn’t too crunchy)

3. Stir in remaining ingredients, then cover and let stand 5 minutes to melt cheese. Fluff with fork and top with additional Asiago cheese (and protein like Cajun chicken) before serving.

This recipe reheats well the next day but becomes complete mush when you freeze – so freezing isn’t recommended!

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