English Asparagus is in season and we’ve spotted plenty of it around the market lately. This inspired us to share Justin’s English Asparagus Risotto recipe – a beautiful springtime evening meal, especially when accompanied by a lovely Italian Pinot Grigio. Making a delicious risotto requires a little love and patience, but even if you’ve never done it before it’s easier than you think. To get rich flavour into the rice use homemade chicken stock, we have a simple recipe here.

Ingredients

  • 1.25l homemade chicken stock
  • 12 asparagus spears
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped (optional)
  • 500g carnaroli risotto rice
  • 250ml white wine
  • 175g grated parmesan
  • 50g butter
  • Cracked pepper & sea salt to taste

Method:

  1. Blanch the asparagus stalks by placing them (uncut) into boiling water. Leave for approximately 1-2 minutes until they are bright green. We prefer ours a little crunchier and usually find a minute is enough.
  2. Remove the stalks and place immediately in a bowl of ice water to stop the asparagus from cooking. Once cool, chop the top third of the stalk into pieces and save for the risotto.
  3. Place the remaining ends of the asparagus into the stock and simmer for 20 minutes to infuse the asparagus flavour. Discard the ends and keep the stock hot on the hob.
  4. While the stock continues to simmer, heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a sauté pan or cocotte. Drop in the chopped onions and fry over a low heat for 4-5 minutes while continuously stirring until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and fry for another minute. Then add the rice and continue to stir and cook for 2 minutes until the grains are glossy and fully covered in the oil.
  5. Increase the temperature to a medium heat and add the wine. Once the wine has been absorbed, add a ladle of chicken stock. Continue to stir well and simmer gently until all the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat until the rice is tender.
  6. Finally add the asparagus and the parmesan, stirring well. Season with salt & pepper to taste and then add the butter and stir through. Serve immediately.