Asparagus and fennel risotto

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Ingredients

Serves 2

  • 1 tablespoon rapeseed oil
  • 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1/2 small fennel, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 160g risotto rice
  • 50ml white cooking wine
  • 500ml chicken stock, heated
  • 200g asparagus, chopped into thirds
  • 30g parmesan, finely grated
  • 20g butter, chopped
  • 1 bunch chives, chopped
  • 1/2 lemon, cut into wedges for serving
  • Maldon sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Timings

Prep time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 20 minutes
Total time: 25 minutes

Asparagus and fennel risotto

For me, asparagus symbolises spring and early summer in the UK. Harvested from around St George’s Day until the summer solstice, the green and purple stalks vary just in size and diameter. Some are tall and thin and others are short and stubby, and all are equally delicious and have an identity of their own. The asparagus risotto is one of my favourites! Nutty grains, creamy Parmesan and fresh crisp rounds of asparagus are heaven in a bowl.

Method

Place the rapeseed oil, chopped onion and chopped fennel into a large frying pan. SautΓ© over a medium heat for 7 minutes, or until the vegetables have softened and started to take on colour.

Add the garlic and rice and continue to stir for 2 minutes. Turn up the heat and add the wine. Continue stirring until all the liquid has been absorbed. Add a ladle of hot stock and continue to stir until the liquid is absorbed into the rice. Once you are down to the last ladle of stock, take the risotto off the heat and add the Parmesan and butter. Leave off the heat for 2 minutes to infuse the flavours.

Meanwhile boil the kettle. Place the chopped asparagus into a bowl and pour over the boiled water. Leave to stand for 1 minute. Drain very well and run them under cold water (this technique is called refreshing).

Finally add the asparagus to the risotto rice and give it a good stir. Season well with salt and pepper and serve with lemon wedges and chopped chives.

DOWNLOAD OR PRINT RECIPE HERE.

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The fennel, chives and lemon add a light note to this risotto. For a deeper more intense flavour replace these ingredients with chopped bacon and a drizzle of truffle oil.”Β 

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