This is a great way to take advantage of local asparagus while it’s in season. This pack gives you all you need to cook asparagus risotto, and all you need to do is follow the instructions below.
This pack includes:
- 2 bunches of asparagus
- 1 large onion
- 1kg Arborio Rice
- 100g of Grana Padano cheese
- 1 lemon
Recipe serves 4.
If you are not cooking for four, you can either half the recipe, or use the leftovers to make arancini. Simply create balls of risotto, then coat in flour, beaten egg and breadcrumbs before deep frying.
2 bunches of asparagus
1 pinch of bicarbonate of soda
vegetable oil, for frying
1 large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, sliced
300g of arborio rice
200ml of white wine
100g of butter
50g of Grana Padano
1 lemon, zested and juiced
flaky sea salt
- Make the asparagus stock using the tough ends of the asparagus, which snap off in your hand (usually the lower 2-3cm). Place the ends in a litre of water with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and simmer for 40 minutes, then remove the asparagus ends with a slotted spoon and keep the liquid warm
- 10 minutes before the stock is ready, heat a drizzle of vegetable oil in a large pan and add the onions and garlic with a pinch of salt. Cook at medium heat until soft and translucent (about 5 minutes)
- Add the rice and stir for a few minutes until it starts to toast a little. Add the white wine and stir until it has evaporated
- Add ladles of warm asparagus stock one by one, each time letting the rice absorb the stock before adding the next. Stir regularly to release the starch from the rice.
- As the risotto is cooking, chop off the asparagus tips to be about 5cm long and set aside. Divide the stalks into 2 equal piles. Finely slice one pile into 2mm rounds and set aside. Roughly chop the remaining stalks
- Cook the roughly chopped asparagus in salted boiling water with a pinch of bicarbonate of soda – this will help the stringy stalks blend easily without having to cook them for longer and therefore losing the bright green colour
- When the asparagus is soft (about 5 minutes), drain and reserve some of the cooking water. Place in a blender and blitz to a smooth puree, adding back in some of the cooking water if needed
- Taste the rice and when it is cooked just al dente you can stir in the purée and the sliced asparagus stalks
- Taste and season with salt, pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice. Beat in the butter and grated Grana Padano, place a lid on the pan and leave off the heat to rest for 5 minutes
- Meanwhile, place a frying pan over a high heat and add the asparagus tips with a small drizzle of oil. Stir-fry for a few minutes until cooked through but with a little bite. Season with flaky salt
- Serve up the risotto and top with asparagus tips and some lemon zest