Elements of Food

Naptime Cooking: Brown Butter Asparagus Risotto

Finally…! A cookbook that caters to the needs (and time restraints!) of a stay at home mom. I LOVE cooking. Since having my second babe, it’s been tough to find the time to shop for, prep and cook good meals that the whole family will love. I found a cookbook on Amazon (because I pretty much ONLY shop online) called The Naptime Chef, by Kelsey Banfield. What I love about it, is that each recipe gives you the prep and cook times so you can plan when you do the prep work, and then know how much additional time you will need to cook. Most of the recipes are 45 minutes of total time, which is great for me and the ingredient lists are minimal, and usually include things I keep around the house anyways. I’m pretty lucky, my babies take naps at the same time for the most part, so I usually have 2-3 hours to myself. My mom comes over once a week to help with the kids and also helps me with the shopping for the week, so all I have to do is cook. It’s pretty amazing. I picked out 4 new recipes to try this week. The first one I tried tonight was the Brown Butter Asparagus Risotto. First of all, brown butter. yum. Secondly, risotto is one of my most favorite foods in the whole world, so I knew this would be a goodie…and it was. Second helpings were had by all. (Okay, this nursing mama may have had 3 helpings…) However, I did have to tell Marielle the asparagus were green beans, and the rest was cheese. Because she loves cheese. And green beans. It’s okay to lie about food to your toddler. I promise. Plus, she loves anything in her bright green Oogaa bowl! Have I mentioned how much I love these bowls? Microwave, freezer, dishwasher, heat safe, OVEN safe, BPA free…virtually unbreakable, which is great for those days when Marielle doesn’t like what I make her and she throws it and her bowl on the floor…but this recipe, she loved! Happy bowl, happy mama, happy Marielle.

I prepared the onion and asparagus during naps, and started cooking when Brendan was on his way home. It was ready the minute he walked in the door. Perfection.

Adapted from Kelsey Banfield’s The Naptime Chef

Ingredients (some modifications made)

  • 4 cups low sodium chicken broth
  • 1 pound asparagus
  • 1 medium sweet yellow onion
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 cups uncooked arborio rice
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine ( I used Sancerre…pick a wine you love because you need something to sip on while you cook the risotto for 20 minutes!)
  • 3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste


  • Bring a wide pot of water to a boil over high heat.
  • Heat the broth in a saucepan over medium heat (don’t boil)
  • Break off the tough ends of the asparagus.  Add the asparagus to the water and cook for about 4 minutes until tender, but not mushy. Remove from the heat and cut into 1-2 inch pieces. I did smaller pieces so my toddler could easily eat them.
  • Heat 4 tablespoons of the butter in a large saute pan over medium heat. Allow it to bubble and turn a golden brown color. Keep stirring the butter so it doesn’t burn. Add the chopped onion and cook until translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add in the rice, then carefully pour in the wine. Cook until the wine is almost evaporated. Ladle the hot broth into the pan in 1/2 cup increments cooking and stirring each time until it is absorbed before adding the next. Use all the broth. Risotto should be soft and tender, but still have a bit of a bite to it.
  • Stir in the cheese until melted, and then add the chopped asparagus. Top with additional Parmesan and freshly ground pepper.

Brown Butter Asparagus Risotto IMG_8871IMG_8876

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