Risotto with Miso and Spring Vegetables
5 cups water
4 Tbsp miso paste (yellow or white is best)
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1/2 bunch asparagus, sliced on a diagonal into 1/2 inch long pieces
1 cup fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 pinch sea salt and black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cup arborio rice
Optional* 1/2 cup dry white wine or vegetable broth
8 oz snap peas, sliced on a diagonal
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (for serving)
To make the miso broth, in a medium saucepan, bring water to a simmer over medium heat. Once simmering, reduce heat to low to keep warm. While waiting for the water to simmer, add miso to a small mixing bowl and scoop out ~1 cup of water from the saucepan. Add to the miso and whisk/stir until mostly dissolved (this allows the miso to fully blend with the water and not clump). Add the miso mixture to the pot of simmering water and stir to dissolve the miso fully. This creates your miso broth.
Heat a large rimmed skillet over medium-high heat and add 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add the onion and asparagus and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until somewhat browned and caramelized. Add the mushrooms and sauté for ~2 minutes, or until tender. Season with a pinch each of salt and pepper and transfer to a bowl. Set aside for later.
Heat the same large skillet over medium-low heat. Add remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil and garlic. Sauté for 1 minute until fragrant.
Add arborio rice and cook for 1 minute, stirring occasionally to coat.
Optionally, add dry white wine (or vegetable broth) and stir gently. Cook for 1-2 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed.
Using a ladle, add warmed miso broth to rice, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring almost constantly, giving the risotto little breaks to come back to a simmer. The heat should be medium, and there should always be a slight simmer. You want the mixture to be cooking but not boiling, or it will get gummy and cook too fast.
Continue to add miso broth, stirring to incorporate, until the rice is al dente — cooked through but still has a slight bite. You may not need all of the miso broth. This whole process should only take 15-20 minutes.
Once the rice is al dente, turn heat as low as possible and add in peas, along with the cooked asparagus and mushrooms from earlier (option to reserve a few for serving). Stir until well combined, testing a bite to ensure peas are warmed through.
Taste and adjust flavor as needed, adding a pinch of salt and pepper, as well as parmesan cheese to taste.