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Humpday Recipe: asparagus risotto

Posted Jun 02 2010 3:21am

Whoa!  I came off my bike this morning.  I mean flew off.  I hit a bollard at speed and skidded along the cyclepath (thank the gods for cyclepaths although not for bollards).  Four people passed me.  Only one stopped to see if I was OK so a big big thank you to that guy if he’s reading!

An even bigger thank you to Himself who came and sorted out my chain so I could at least wheel the bike to the bike shop to get the flat tyre sorted.  I am exhausted, and it’s only now when I stop that I realise how many different parts of my body hurt.  I’m going to have a rainbow of bruises tomorrow!

(Oh and mum, if you’re reading I’m fine, honestly :) )

Anyway, on to nicer things.  Recipes, yay!!!

~~~~

The English asparagus season is very short lived.  We only get local asparagus in our veg box for a few weeks and I like to make the most of it.

It is delicious just gently steamed for a few minutes and served with a poached egg, or in a salad.  Sometimes it’s best just on it’s own (but seriously folks, just steam it for a tiny minute, it should still be crunchy).  One of my favourite ways to eat it is in this risotto though.  This can be made with tinned asparagus out of season but, y’know, it’s just not as good.

Now before I begin with the risotto recipe I did a very unvegan thing as an accompaniment to this dish.

As you know, I eat vegan about 90% of the time, and then I get egg cravings .  And then I get fish cravings too it seems!  I’ve learned to listen to my body over the years so every now and then it gets a salmon fillet.  Hurrah for Omega 3.

So if you want salmon too, wrap your fillets up with a little lemon in tin foil and put in a hot (350*C/Gas Mark 7) oven.

Then let’s get on with the risotto.

Finely chop some onion and garlic…

…and saute it in a couple of spoonfuls of olive oil.

Then add about 200g of risotto rice (this will serve 4 for a side dish and 2 for a main).

Have your vegetable stock ready – about a litre of it, which can be made from fresh (and I really need to do a quick recipe for vegetable stock, I thought there was one but, alas, no) or from a stock cube.

And then I have a little stock secret.  Add a teaspoonful of this to give your stock some pizzazz!!

I promise it makes all the difference.

Now, here’s the thing with risotto.  You have to keep stirring.  Do not be tempted to leave it cooking and go off to watch Eastenders because it will burn.  In fact if you so much as turn around to put the mustard away it will burn.  Keep watching it.  Keep stirring it.  Think of it as an exercise in mindfulness, in being in the present moment.  A meditation if you will.

So pour about half of your stock on the rice.  Stir.  Keep stirring.  Add the rest of the stock little by little as the rice starts to absorb it.

After about 25 minutes put in a bunch of asparagus chopped into inch long batons and keep stirring as this cooks for about 4 more minutes.  By this time your aspragus should be still crisp but the rice should be… well, looking like risotto.

Did you put salmon in the over half an hour ago?  Yes.  Well get it out now and enjoy your dinner!

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