It’s officially spring in the northern hemisphere! Being a cook I always look for seasonal produce and this recipe is a testimony to that. This risotto uses asparagus and peas which are seasonal in the UK during this time of the year. With supermarkets selling everything available round the year its sometimes difficult to identify what’s seasonal and what’s not. I always look for the ticket to see where they have come from! They taste so much better and has done fewer air miles to get to your plate!
As every risotto, this requires time and patience to cook but this is a one pot dish and can be done in just over 30 minutes. You can use frozen peas but as you can get fresh peas this season, why not take an advantage of that.
I paired this risotto with a pan fried hake fillet that was marinated in pesto! You can compliment it with roast chicken or roast vegetables. In that way, this is a very versatile dish catering both vegetarians and meat lovers
Another difference between this risotto and the classic one is that I have used soft goat cheese instead of Parmesan. You can use Parmesan to make it authentic. I liked the goat cheese as it gave a nice creamy texture to the dish.
Ok so let’s make this!
What you will need (for 2-3 people)
- Arborio rice (shorter and fatter grains) – 1.5 cups
- Chicken stock (fresh or from cubes) – 800 ml
- Extra virgin olive oil – 3 tbsp and some extra for garnish
- 1 bay leaf
- Peas – 1 cup
- Asparagus tips (only take the green and tender parts – the tip is to bend the stalk and the point that it naturally breaks is the point. Use the top and discard the bottom part. You can use the stalk finely chopped in soups, stews etc.)
- Garlic – 2-3 cloves finely chopped
- Onion – 2 medium finely chopped
- Black pepper ( as much or as little you like)
- Goats cheese (soft) – 2 tbsp. Top up if you want to!
- Heat the oil in a deep pan and add the chopped garlic to it. Once slightly brown add the chopped onions. Once the onions are translucent, add the rice to the mix along with the peas.
- After frying the rice for a couple of minutes. Add some stock to the rice and let the rice cook in the stock. Lower the flame so that the rice doesn’t burn. Once the stock is absorbed, add another ladle of stock and continue doing so until the rice is cooked. When are you half way of cooking the rice, add the asparagus to the pot. As asparagus doesn’t require much cooking time, we need to add it half way so that’s it not over cooked.
- The goal here is to cook the rice in the stock. Once the rice is cooked, add some more salt and season it with black pepper. Add the goats cheese to the risotto and mix it well.
- Drizzle it with some good olive oil when you serve it on the plate.
Your risotto is ready! Best eaten when hot.
Hope you enjoy this recipe! Till the next time, Ciao!