Risotto with Asparagus

11:02 pm on 22 September 2008

Ingredients

  • 500g fresh asparagus
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 2 large shallots peeled and chopped
  • 500g risotto rice
  • 1 small glass white wine (not chardonnay)
  • 1.5l chicken or vegetable stock
  • 50g freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 1 tblsp chopped fresh parsley
  • Salt and pepper

Method

If the asparagus is woody, snap of the ends before cooking.

Boil or steam asparagus with a pinch of salt until just tender.

Drain and set aside to cool, reserve 1 cup of cooking liquid.

Cut asparagus into small pieces leaving the tips intact.

Melt half the butter in a large pan and sweat shallots for 5 minutes until soft and transparent.

Add the rice and stir until it is very hot and shining.

Add wine and stir until all the alcohol has evaporated.

Next add the first ladleful of asparagus cooking liquid and stir until absorbed.

Add more, ladleful at a time until liquid is finished. When asparagus liquid is used up, begin adding the stock in the same manner.

Continue this way until rice is al dente.

Reserving a few tips for garnish, stir in the rest of the asparagus to heat through right at the end of the cooking time.

Add the Parmigiano Reggiano and parsley and season to taste.

Remove from heat and stand covered for 3 minutes.

Transfer to a serving platter, garnish with asparagus tips and serve at once.

Simple Asparagus ideas:

- Steam or boil and serve with hollandaise

- Bake the fat ones with a knob of butter

- BBQ them and drizzle with olive oil

- Wrap bacon/prosciutto round them and grill

- Steamed with a poached egg and Parmesano Reggiano

- Steamed with white oil, champagne wine vinegar, freshly squeezed lemon juice and sea salt plus a dash of ground black pepper

- Tossed in a mixture of oyster sauce and light soy sauce and a dash of oil (hot or cold)

Suggested wines to complement this recipe

Rose

Esk Valley 2008 - a merlot / malbec blend. Gorgeous strawberry and cream on the nose - but a refreshing dryness on palate.

Armantes 2006 – Spanish wine made from Grenache. Good berries and nice "grip" in mouth.

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