Asparagus Risotto

This asparagus risotto is a light and tasty dish. Risotto needn't be heavy, with slow careful cooking it should simply melt in your mouth, not sink to the pit of your stomach. This recipe also includes a small amount of dried wild mushrooms but if you are lucky enough to get your hands on seasonal morels they will be even better.

Asparagus risotto

Portions: 6 Portions

Preparation: 10 -15 minutes

Cooking: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

Risotto

  • 100ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 leek, white part only, finely sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 20g dried fairy mushrooms or your choice of dried wild mushrooms, reconstituted in boiling water and drained (reserve the mushroom water and add it to the stock)
  • 450g risotto rice
  • 1.5 litres of vegetable or chicken stock
  • 1 large bunch of asparagus, trimmed, spears kept whole and the rest of the stems chopped into pieces around 1.5cm long.
  • 6 tbsp fresh mixed herbs, finely chopped eg. chives, flat leaf parsley, basil, tarragon, coriander etc.
  • 3 tbsp verjuice (optional)
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 6 tbsp creme fraiche
  • 100g finely grated parmesan
  • maldon salt and freshly ground black pepper

To Serve

  • parmesan shavings

Method

  1. Risotto: Pour the stock into a large saucepan and place it over a high heat and bring it to the boil, and reduce it to a strong simmer.
  2. Place a large saucepan with the olive oil in it, over a moderate heat. Add the shallots to the oil and sweat until tender and transparent. Stir in the leeks, wild mushrooms and garlic, and cook until the leek and mushrooms are tender. Add the rice to the pan and stir with a wooden spoon so that the rice is well coated with oil and the ingredients are well distributed. Ladle in some simmering stock onto the rice so that it is just covered, stir the rice over the heat until it has absorbed the stock, repeat this process until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender with a little bite (al dente), stirring in the chopped asparagus (reserving the spears) after 20-25 minutes. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in herbs, verjuice (optional), butter, creme fraiche, and parmesan stir into the risotto so that the butter has melted and all the ingredients are well distributed. Season the risotto to taste and keep warm while the asparagus spears are cooked.
  3. Place the asparagus spears in a saucepan of boiling water and cook for 3-5 minutes until just tender. Drain the spears and serve.
  4. To Serve: Distribute the risotto among serving bowls, place the asparagus spears on the risotto and scatter over parmesan shavings. Serve.