It’s Good Friday and I am out in the morning. I come home to a box of fresh produce from my favourite grocer The Lettuce Shop. This isn’t a sponsored post, owner Cassandra is just a generous soul and as they are closing for the week, lucky me gets some produce that will serve its full purpose in my kitchen. And of course I want to tell you about it.
I couldn’t wait to get cooking.
I haven’t made risotto in months. I have heard along the grapevine that Enoteca Sileno will be hosting a risotto competition of some sorts in coming months. I don’t know the details but once I know I will of course let you know. The idea of it though got me craving risotto. That’s how my foodie mind works.
I have mentioned in an earlier post that Enoteca Sileno sent me a fabulous box of premium quality Italian products. Included in this box was vialone nano risotto rice. Days like this I feel like the luckiest foodie alive, I receive all these wonderful products that only further inspire my desire to cook. I used the risotto rice from Enoteca Sileno to make this dish, I may have even pinched a few tips from the back of the packet for cooking superb risotto. Although this recipe is my own, I can’t quite take full credit for the method.
Ingredients (serves 4):
2 tbsp good quality olive oil
1 ½ bunches asparagus (approx. 300g), trimmed and cut into bitesize pieces
1 small onion, finely diced
2 cups vialone nano rice (or arborio)
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
100g parmesan cheese
Small handful of mint leaves, roughly torn
½ tsp finely grated lemon zest
½ lemon, juiced
Freshly ground sea salt and pepper
Extra parmesan cheese
Bring stock to boil in a saucepan.
Heat oil in a separate heavy based saucepan over medium heat. Add asparagus and sauté for a few minutes until slightly softened, remove from pan. Add onion to pan and cook until aromatic.
Add rice and cook for a few minutes until slightly transparent.
Add stock to pan, gently stir, cover, then allow to simmer for about 25-28 minutes. I always thought risotto would stick the bottom of the pan if not stirred, but according to the back of the vialone nano rice I used it states the rice will absorb the stock and will cook evenly without sticking. Who knew!
For the perfect risotto, the rice should be soft but slightly firm to the bite ie not mushy.
Add parmesan, butter, mint, lemon zest and juice. Season with sea salt and pepper. Allow to sit to absorb all the delicious flavours, then plate and top with lashings of freshly shaved parmesan cheese.
I have to add I wasn’t entirely convinced the mint flavour would work as well as it does with asparagus and lemon, it’s dishes like this that make me appreciate my interest in trying out new flavour combinations. What a pleasant surprise!