Summer risotto in winter

My cooking clock is all messed up.  About this time I should be making many a chili, stews and other hearty dishes to warm you up on a winter's night.  Now I live in a warm weather locale and not only is it the temperature outside affecting what I eat, but what I buy.  Who thought January to May would be the local growing season?  Strawberries were $5 for 10 lbs at the store yesterday.  It is February 1 people.

A couple nights ago I made a recipe my boyfriend's mom made for the 4th of July dinner which everyone loved.  It is truly vegetarian and one of the lighter risottos I have cooked.  It was delicious and although I probably should have halved the recipe for two people, it has been a lunch staple for the remainder of the week.  (Please excuse the budget picture of the leftovers.)

Tomato Risotto (courtesy Mrs. M.)
1 bunch of fresh asparagus, cut into small diagonal pieces
1/2 cup olive oil
1 cup of chopped yellow onion
1 pound ripe tomatoes
2 cups of arborio rice
1 small bunch of fresh basil (cut into strips)
2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
1 cup of cherry tomatoes halved
container of fresh grated Parmesan 
4-6 cups of water
Blanche the asparagus and cut into one inch pieces (make sure it is cool) and put into a bowl with the basil, and cherry tomatoes, lemon juice and cheese, mixed up with 1/2 cup olive oil.
Cut up the tomatoes and puree in a blender.
Over medium low heat, saute onions in 2 tablespoons of olive oil.   Add the rice to the onions and turn up the heat to medium high.  Stir and toast for about 2 minutes until the grains are hot.  Pour 2 cups of water into pot and stir constantly.  Turn down the heat to a simmer and once the liquid is absorbed, add another 2 cups of water and continue to stir constantly.  After about 15 minutes of cooking and stirring, or about 5 minutes shy of being al dente stir in the tomato puree.  Stir for another 4 minutes or until liquid is almost totally reduced.   Then stir in the bowl with the basil, cherry tomatoes, asparagus and cheese and olive oil.  Salt and pepper to your liking.
Serves 6-8.

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