I love asparagus but because it’s only in season for a short time, I almost forget to buy and use it before the season is over. When I do buy it, I often just serve it as a plain vegetable side dish. It’s a shame because there are so many lovely things you can do with it – wrap it in bacon or parma ham, serve it as a crudite for homemade dips or add it to seasonal salads or soups. It’s also lovely in stir fries and of course in risotto, which is what this post is all about.
Risotto is a real comfort food but is a dish I love to eat throughout the year. I often make it with mushrooms and I find it really tasty with green vegetables like peas or this asparagus. I admit that I’m a bit lazy, I don’t stir the risotto constantly, I busy around the kitchen doing all sorts of other things at the same time, just giving an occasional stir. If only I could just stand there stirring, I think it would be quite therapeutic, although clearing away all the toys strewn across the kitchen and living room can also be therapeutic in its own way and at least I then don’t need to do it after dinner.
Ingredients – Serves 2
200g risotto rice
1 onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp dried thyme
Up to 1 ltr Vegetable stock
150g asparagus, ends removed and cut into bite-sized pieces
60g parmesan cheese (or a vegetarian hard cheese substitute)
How to Make Asparagus Risotto
1. In a saucepan cook the onions gently in a little oil until soft. Add the crushed garlic and thyme and stir in. After a minute, add the rice. Stir that in too.
2. Start adding the stock. Keep adding a little bit more and stirring until it is absorbed. If, like me, you can’t stand by the stove, just be more generous each time you add extra stock.
3. When the risotto is nearly ready, stir in the asparagus so it can cook for about 3-5 minutes.
4. Take the risotto off the heat, stir in the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze in some of the lemon juice. For a really lemony flavour, grate some of the zest and stir that in too.