Asparagus and lemon risotto
To celebrate the Scottish asparagus season I’ve decided to share one of the recipes from my little ebook, Risotto – A blank canvas of flavour. There’s another five recipes to be found inside using delightful Scottish ingredients but for now sit back and enjoy the true dawn of a late Scottish spring.
‘Much like raspberries in summer, spring speaks of one ingredient. Asparagus. There’s nothing quite like local seasonal asparagus with its bright green luster, its satisfying crunch and a flavour that speaks of the new life of Spring and the finishing of lemon, both juice and zest, simply adds to the brightness of the occasion. Be careful not to overcook, judge by the thickness and freshness of the spears. Limp, watery, overcooked asparagus will make nobody happy.’
The stock for this is best made from a light vegetable stock of one onion, carrot and celery stock with a sprig of thyme and a teaspoonful in one litre of water cooked down to 400ml and vegetables discarded.
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
1 clove Garlic
150g Risotto rice – preferably nano vialone
Small glass white wine
400ml Vegetable stock
200g Asparagus tips sliced
Juice half a lemon plus zest
Handful Coriander leaves chopped
Shaved Parmesan or Pecorino to garnish
Knob butter and splash Olive Oil for frying
Salt and pepper to season
1. In a heavy based sauté pan sweat the onion and garlic in the oil and butter until softened, do not brown;
2. Add the rice and stir to cover with the oil, cook over a low heat for 3-5 minutes, stirring often and being careful not to burn;
3. Turn the heat to medium and add the wine, stirring rapidly until it all evaporates;
4. Add the stock ladle by ladle, stirring until each is evaporated before adding the next;
5. Continue adding the stock one ladle at a time for 12 minutes;
6. Add in the asparagus tips and continue to cook, adding the stock a ladle at a time until al dente and the asparagus tips retain their crunch;
7. Remove from the heat and add in the lemon juice, zest and chopped coriander. Stir, correct for seasoning and serve topped with the shaved cheese.