At Cookery School we teach to empower so that everyone has the confidence to replicate recipes again and again at home. We also teach by principle – if you can understand how to make and prepare a basic risotto, you can make a whole range of different risotto using the same principle.
1 very large bunch asparagus
1 large onion finely chopped
250g/8ozs fresh green peas
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 bunch wild garlic leaves chopped roughly
2 cloves crushed garlic – fresh season’s if possible
1 good handful chopped parsley
1 wine glass of white wine
250g/8ozs risotto rice
1L/2pints asparagus liquor made as shown below
freshly ground pepper and salt to taste
Vegetable or chicken stock if more liquid required
-Prepare the asparagus by removing the inedible ‘woody’ pieces at the bottom of the spears. Do this by snapping the asparagus just above the woody parts. Keep both parts.
-Chop the asparagus spears into + 2cm pieces.
-Cover with water and bring to the boil. Cook until asparagus are just tender but not soft.
-Lift the asparagus pieces out but retain the cooking water. Set aside the asparagus pieces.
-Using the liquid in which the asparagus were cooked, place the woody end bits in this and cook these until soft to extract maximum flavour. Strain off woody pieces, discard but keep the liquor. This will be used to cook the risotto.
-Cook the peas in a little water until tender. Drain and set aside. This cooking liquor can also be used as part of the liquid with which the risotto is made.
-Measure this asparagus and pea liquor. You require about 1L of ‘stock’ in total. If insufficient, add a little boiling water to it to make up to required amount. Add dried vegetable bouillon to it as per instructions on packet. Or add chicken stock to make up the requisite 1L of liquid stock of short of liquid. Keep the stock hot by placing on a simmer on a low heat on the hob.
-Meanwhile gently fry the onion in the olive oil until lightly browned.
-Add the rice to the onion and coat with oil ensuring that each grain glistens.
-Add the wild garlic leaves and parsley at this time.
-Pour in the white wine and cook quickly until evaporated.
-On a medium heat, add a ladleful of the stock at a time, stirring continuously.
-Continue to add stock until about three quarters of it is used up. This should take about fifteen minutes.
-Then add the lightly cooked asparagus pieces and peas, and continue to add the stock until all used up.
-The rice ought to have a little ‘bite’ to it when cooked. Risotto must be eaten immediately. Also the risotto must not be dry but must be loose but not liquidy. You may find that you need to add a little additional stock to the risotto to loosen it a wee bit.
-Season with salt and freshly ground pepper before serving.
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