Generally, asparagus is in season between St George’s Day on April 23 up until the summer solstice on June 21, so it’s a great veg to include in your diet throughout the summer months.
This simple risotto recipe is cooked in the oven to help the risotto rice absorb those delicious juices and the result is a dish so flavoursome the whole family will adore it.
- 250g (9oz) asparagus
- 100g (4oz) baby spinach leaves
- 100g (4oz) frozen peas
- 100ml (4fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock
- 100g (4oz) peas
- 1 chopped onion
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- 2tbsp olive oil
Heat the oven to 180 C, 160 C fan, 360 F, gas 4. Take 250g (9oz) asparagus and cut off the tough woody stems
Put the stems into a pan with 100g (4oz) baby spinach leaves and 100g (4oz) frozen peas. Add 100ml (4fl oz) chicken or vegetable stock and cook for 5 minutes until the asparagus is tender.
Whizz in a processor to a purée. Blanch the asparagus tips and another 100g (4oz) peas and drain. Gently fry 1 chopped onion and 2 crushed garlic cloves in 2tbsp olive oil for a few minutes to soften.
Add 350g (12oz) Arborio risotto rice, 850ml (1½pt) stock and 150ml (¼pt) white wine. Season, bring to the boil, then cover and put in the oven for 15 minutes, until the rice is just tender. Remove from the oven and stir in the asparagus purée, asparagus tips and peas, 100g (4oz) finely grated Parmesan and 50g (2oz) butter.
Season, and serve immediately.
If you're a risotto fan, it's worth investing in some decent stock and good-quality Parmesan. It will make all the difference
to your finished dish.