Welcome spring to your home with this green asparagus risotto. A creamy risotto with cheese, fresh asparagus and a hint of lemon.
The main thing:
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Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic cloves. Cut the ends off the asparagus and slice the asparagus into pieces of about 3 cm.
Heat the vegetable stock and grate the grana padano if not ready-grated.
Heat a dash of olive oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the onion and garlic for a few minutes. Add the risotto rice and cook for a few more minutes until the rice starts to become translucent. Deglaze with a generous splash of white wine.
Once the white wine has been completely absorbed, gradually add the vegetable stock. Stir occasionally and only add another ladle of stock when the previous one has been completely absorbed by the rice.
Add the asparagus pieces when the risotto is partially cooked. Adding the asparagus pieces at the beginning would overcook them. Green asparagus is best when al dente.
The risotto may be ready before you've used the entire 750ml stock. You may also need a little extra liquid; it depends on the type of rice you use.
Once the risotto is cooked, stir in a handful of cheese and a dash of cream. Season with salt, pepper and the zest of a lemon. Serve with more grated grana padano, enjoy!
Do you have to peel green asparagus?
If you use fresh green asparagus spears, you don't need to peel them. Always cut off the hard, and possibly dried out, ends. Use a sharp chef's knife or kitchen knife for this.
Where can you buy green asparagus?
Asparagus from the UK is in season from late April / early May to around the end of June. In the USA the season starts earlier - around the end of February, but the peak months are April and May. You often see fresh green asparagus in supermarkets and outdoor markets during these periods. You can buy green asparagus in jars or cans; these are for sale all year round. Canned asparagus has far less flavour and is quite limp; it is always best to use fresh asparagus.
What should I look out for when buying asparagus?
Asparagus has a tendency to dry out. Make sure that fresh asparagus is not discoloured, nor dried out. The stem should be quite firm and not discoloured. Feel the underside of an asparagus stalk with your thumb, with fresh asparagus the underside gives fairly easily.