Serves 2-3 as a main dish, or 4-5 as a side dish.
1 bunch asparagus
1 large leek (or white onion, diced)
4 tablespoons olive oil
4 garlic cloves, or wild garlic, rough chopped
1 cup arborio rice
1/4 cup white wine, optional- or skip it
700g veg stock
Small bunch basil leaves
1 lemon, zest and some juice to taste
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
Garnish: lemon zest, basil ribbons, pecorino cheese,
optional toasted pinenuts (or other nuts or seeds), chili flakes (Urfa biber is nice) Leek oil (optional)or a drizzle of olive oil.
2. Prep the asparagus: Cut the fibrous ends off the asparagus and discard. (You can tell where this is by breaking an end off with your fingers, usually about an inch from bottom- and using this as a guide, cut the rest to match. Toss all the fibrous ends.) Cut the pretty tips off (about 1.5 inches) and set them aside. Cut the “middles” into 1-inch pieces. Take 1.5 cups of the “middles” and set aside (to blanch and blend into a creamy asparagus sauce) which we will stir into the risotto at the end to give it its beautiful vibrant colour and creamy texture. Add any remaining “middles” to the tips and keep these set aside. So you’ll have two piles of asparagus, the “middles” and one with the tips and leftover middles.
3. BLANCH AND BLEND: In the small pot of boiling water, blanch the asparagus “middles” (without the tips), until tender and vibrant, about 5 minutes depending on size. Drain, but reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Blend the blanched asparagus with the 1 cup cooking liquid, 2 tablespoons oil and the basil leaves until silky smooth, either in a blender or using an immersion blender. Set this aside to add to the risotto at the end.
To make this go faster, start the risotto and asparagus blanching at the same time- great for multitaskers.
Sauteed mushrooms would be nice here too, along with a drizzle of truffle oil.
Recipe photo includes maitake mushrooms.
Recipe created by:
Asparagus, egg and potato caesar salad
Garlic and Parsley Potatoes
Create your account to access more recipes
You’ll find lots more free recipes like these in your member portal.