Thursday, 17 April 2008

Asparagus and lemon risotto

I realised that once you've got the basic method of making risotto, you could throw in just about any decent sounding combination of ingredients and come up with a lovely meal.

I have tried a creamy seafood risotto as well as one with a tomato sauce base. For this one, I went for something a bit lighter with asparagus and lemon. Comfort food for the odd cold snap as winter loosens its grip but with a freshness in taste that welcomes the onset of spring.

Asparagus and lemon risotto

Ingredients (serves 2):

Risotto rice 150g (I used arborio rice)
400ml vegetable stock (or use chicken)
Butter 20g
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
A small glass of dry white wine
1 lemon, juice and rind
5-6 stalks of asparagus, woody ends trimmed and thinly sliced on the diagonal
Grated parmesan cheese 20g
Small handful of parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper


1. Place the stock in a saucepan, bring to the boil and keep on a low simmering heat.
2. Melt the butter and olive oil in the pan. Saute the onions and garlic over moderate heat until softened but not browned.
3. Add the rice and then white wine, stir well and heat until all surplus liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock to the rice and stir the mixture until all the liquid has been absorbed. Continue to add the remaining stock ladle by ladle, stirring frequently, for about 20-25 minutes, until all the liquid has been absorbed and the rice is just cooked to al dente. If you run out of stock just before the rice is done, just add hot water.
4. In the last 5 minutes of cooking, add the asparagus, lemon juice and rind and last portion of stock or water. Cook for a few more minutes until the asparagus is just cooked and tender.
5. Add grated parmesan, stir well, and season with salt and pepper. Garnish with parsley and serve.


VeggieGirl said...

I absolutely ADORE asparagus (I'm so glad it's in season here, now!); and I've always wanted to try making risotto - thanks for the inspiration!

alexx said...

Risotto is absolutely my comfort food, I love the way it adapts to suit the seasons and what is in the fridge!
Yours looks delicious :)

Julia said...

I love risotto, and the variety, and this one looks fabulous. I bet it tasted really good.

Nilmandra said...

Veggiegirl: I'm glad asparagus season is here too! Risotto is really not difficult. Just add stock and stir and add stock and stir...

Alexx: Thanks! I do like the way it lends itself to different ingredients.

Julia: Thanks, I liked the freshness of the lemon in this one.

Kevin said...

Asparagus risotto is really good and adding lemon would brighten it up nicely.

James said...

I love risotto! I've worked with a few types of arborio rice and my favorite is Vialone Nano. Nice asparagus risotto.
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noobcook said...

actually I've never had risotto before, can you believe that!! Can you send one plate to me now, ha ha =x

didally said...

I like risotto that is not too creamy. Are risotto meant to be eaten in small portion? The instant ones I got, was abit too creamy for my liking.

Nilmandra said...

James: Thanks, I've not tried out the different varieties of risotto rice as yet and would like to see how different they taste.

Noobcook: It's not difficult. Just add stock and stir! You've got to try it. What I normally do with food I've never tried is to have it at a good restaurant first (or a few) and then try to recreate the taste at home, perhaps with some adjustments for personal taste.

Didally: I think the instant ones have more cheese in it in order to make the flavour more intense (often the case with most instant type food). If you make your own risotto, you can control the amount of grated parmesan to add at the end (you actually need very little, especially it is good strong parmesan). If it's too creamy or cheesy, I can't eat too much of it either!

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