Asparagus Risotto – (as taken from the Cookery School Handbook.)
Risotto follows the same principle as other rice recipes in that liquid is used to cook the rice and is absorbed by the end of the cooking time. But risotto always cooks in stock and/or wine and not water. Unlike when cooking plain or basmati rice, risotto is stirred continuously during cooking to release the starch in the rice grains, resulting in a creamy dish. Asparagus is absolutely delicious in this recipe because it tastes wonderful but also turns the rice a lovely green colour.
For 4-6 people.
12 good size spears of asparagus
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
285g / 10 oz risotto rice
1 wine glass of white wine
1.2 litres / 2 pints hot vegetable or chicken stock (a little more may be
85g / 3 oz Parmesan cheese, grated (optional, but never used in seafood
Cut the asparagus spears into 5cm / 2 inch pieces and cover with water.
Boil until just tender and drain off the cooking water but use that as part of the quantity of stock that is being used later for the rice.
Pour the oil into a saucepan set over a medium high heat, add the onion and fry until a light golden brown.
Stir in the rice and coat with oil ensuring that each grain glistens.
Pour in the white wine and cook quickly until evaporated.
Keeping the stock over a medium high heat, add a ladleful at a time to the rice mixture, stirring continuously. Continue to add stock until it has all been absorbed. This should take about 25 minutes.
Halfway through the cooking, add about half of the asparagus, which will break down and give the risotto a green colour.
Add the remaining asparagus pieces at the end of the cooking process so that they remain whole.
The rice ought to have a little ‘bite’ to it when cooked. When done, remove from the heat and stir in the Parmesan.
Risotto must be eaten immediately before it congeals and becomes sticky. If you need to ‘hold’ it before serving, cook for about 15 minutes and then finish off by adding the final amount of stock just before eating.