It has become a bit of a tradition here at Toast to celebrate the arrival of Spring & my favourite green spears, asparagus. Over the years there has been Asparagus & Herb Frittata, an Ottolenghi Asparagus Mimosa, Salmon & Asparagus Salad with Agave Lime Vinaigrette.
Having had a quick look over the past few years there also seems to be a serious ongoing affair with lemon. Last year there was Lemon & Mint Asparagus, Peas & Spinach, & the year before an Asparagus Salad with a Lemony Parmesan Vinaigrette & way back in 2010, where it all started, a Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta. Asparagus really does love lemon.
So in the spirit of what looks to have become somewhat of a tradition this year I am sticking with the asparagus & lemon flavour theme with a little risotto. The lemon cutting through the richness of the risotto & makes it bright, light & fresh alongside those delectable tender green spears.
Asparagus & Lemon Risotto
3 cups chicken or vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
2 cloves garlic , minced
1 bunch asparagus, cut in to 2cm lengths
1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
I tbsp olive oil
Zest & juice of 1 lemon, reserve a little zest to garnish
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus a little extra to garnish
Place the stock in a medium sized saucepan & warm gently. Once warm leave on the lowest heat to keep it warm. In a large frying pan heat the olive oil over a medium low heat & add the shallot & a pinch of salt. Sauté for a few minutes until soft & translucent. Add the garlic & sauté for a few minutes longer. Add the rice & stir gently. Add the white wine, turn up the heat a little & simmer. Stir until the wine has been absorbed.
Add a ladle of stock at a time & continue to simmer & stir until almost all absorbed, repeat until all the stock has been used. It will take around 20 minutes, just relax & enjoy the stirring.
Once the rice is almost cooked add the asparagus to the rice and gently mix together. Add the lemon juice, most of the zest & season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Parmesan. Remove from the heat and serve topped with a scattering of Parmesan & a little lemon zest.
This one is Spring on a plate, creamy risotto, bright, fresh, zest lemon & those first sweet green spears of asparagus.
If you like this you might like this Creamy Lemon & Asparagus Pasta
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Three years ago Fresh Beets with Coriander Seeds