Asparagus risotto

More of Spring, more of asparagus, more of strawberries in season, more of blooming cherry trees, more of “silver white winters that melt into Spring”. These are a few of My Favorite Things.
Fresh asparagus plays a big role in the Spring Ingredient Spectacle. Watching its joyful greenness on the dish, inhaling its sweet perfume and feeling the soft fibrous texture and earthy taste, all gather in telling your senses one thing: It’s Spring!


Asparagus risotto talks of spring. Its subtleness, the mild green color and crispy texture, is as joyful as its season.When making risotto in this case as always, we want a creamy result, but not overcooked. “Al dente” as they call it. The right rice variety of course is very important for a good result. I add green peas to this recipe, especially in late spring May/June, when the peas are in high season. Here the presentation of the dish is a little fancy, but very easy. You can of course serve directly on the plates.

serves 2

Ingredients

Genuine ingredients and seasonal when possible, give the best results, here as always.

  • 1 cup risotto rice, such as Carnaroli, or Arborio
  • 1 large handful asparagus
  • ca. 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • dash dry white wine
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen peas (can be omitted)
  • ca. 3 cups good quality vegetable broth or even better home made
  • 1/2 cup parmeggiano reggiano cheese
  • broad carrot
  • 1 broad zucchini
  • 1-2 zucchini flowers for garnishing

 

 

 

 

 

Method

  1. Cut the asparagus into ca. 2 cm long pieces (cut the light colored hard  bottom part away and discard)
  2. Chop the onion and soften it in the oil on a large skillet.
  3. “Toast” the rice together with the onion for 1-2 minutes on medium heat and add a little salt.
  4. Pour a dash of dry white wine over the rice and let it evaporate.
  5. Now start pouring the vegetable broth over the rice, one ladle at a time.
  6. After having poured 2-3 ladles, add the asaparagus and peas.
  7. When you feel that the rice is “al dente”, cooked but giving a little resistance to the teeth, mix in the butter and cheese and turn of the heat, and let it rest a copule of minutes.
  8. While the rice cooks, cut the zucchini flowers in small pieces and fry a couple of minutes in extra virgin olive oil. Dry off on kitchen paper,.
  9. Wash the carrot and zucchini and use the middle part. Cut them lengthwise into slices and boil for a couple of minutes, in salty water just to soften them a little bit.
  10. Place a pastry ring cutter on the serving plate and line it with one slice each of the carrot and zucchini. Repeat then same for the second dish.
  11. Spoon the risotto gently into the middle and then delicately remove the ring, so that the carrot & zucchini may embrace alone.
  12. Decorate with the fried zucchini flowers and add a little grated lemon zest from a natural lemon if you like.
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