These two items pair perfectly together and take a fairly easy-to-make meal at home to a restaurant-worthy fare. The recipes are listed separately, but I recommend making in tandem. Both take approximately 45 minutes to prepare.

Fontina Asparagus Risotto

  • 6 cups chicken broth plus additional as needed
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons salted butter
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups sushi rice
  • 1 cup Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc
  • kosher salt
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 8 ounces Fontina, rind removed and cubed
  • 1 bunch asparagus, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
  • black pepper

1. Warm the broth until steaming.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot set over medium-high heat. Add 2 cloves garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Stir in the rice, cook until lightly golden and toasted, 2-3 minutes. Add the wine and 1 teaspoon salt, continue to cook for 3-4 minutes, or until the wine has absorbed into the rice. Stir in 5 cups warm broth and bring to a boil over high heat, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. While the risotto cooks, make the asparagus. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil and 3 tablespoons butter in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 clove garlic, 1 tablespoon lemon juice and thyme. Cook for 1 minute. Stir in the asparagus, season with salt and pepper. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Once risotto is done cooking, stir in the remaining 1 cup broth, 3 tablespoons lemon juice and Parmesan, stirring until thickened, 3-4 minutes. Stir in the Fontina cheese, remove from heat. If the risotto thickens, add additional warm broth to thin it out. It should be creamy, but with a touch of liquid. Season to taste with salt.

5. Serve risotto with sprinkled asparagus on top. Season with fresh pepper.

Ingredients for the Salmon (or Chicken)

  • Salt and pepper to season
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons salted butter
  • ½ cup fresh grated Parmesan
  • 6 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup white wine
  • 5 ounces sun dried tomatoes, cut in strips
  • 1⅓ cups half and half
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 4 salmon fillets (or 6 chicken tender loins)

In a large pan add olive oil. Over low heat, cook the salmon for about 3 minuets on each side, set aside and remove skin.

Add to the empty pan butter, garlic and onions. Cook over medium heat, scraping all the remnants from the fish with a spatula. Simmer until onions are translucent. Add tomatoes and wine. Simmer for about five minuets. Slowly add half and half and bring back to a simmer. Stir in spinach and allow to wilt. Stir in Parmesan. Return salmon to sauce pan. Simmer for 3 minutes. Plate salmon and spoon sauce on top.