Asparagus and lemon risotto

Tonight to continue through the asparagus, and to make the most of it’s fleeting season it will go into a risotto.

I seem to be cooking a lot of rice lately. Hopefully they’re not cravings that are a precursor to me spawning offspring. Like kids, some people hate the attention risottos demand, although I find them quite soothing to stir. Risotto that is. I’ll stop analogising. I enjoy using my senses when cooking, hearing the pleasing putter and bubble turn to a crackle as the stock is absorbed. Smelling the wafts of wine scented steam coming from the pan. For me, this is kitchen heaven on a week night.

Once you’ve made a few and get used to the concepts, you can pretty much throw a risotto together with whatever you have in the fridge, I’d advocate keeping the ingredients simple though.

Nigel Slater and Denis Cotter both do variants of this risotto, this is cobbled together from both.

Butter a thick slice say 50g
A small onion, the size of a lime.
Carnarolio rice – 160g
A glass of White wine or vermouth
A bunch of asparagus
About a litre of stock, you may need less, depending on when the rice is done.
1 lemon
A handful of grated Parmesan

Melt half the butter in a pan, finely chop the onion and add over a low-ish heat so that it softens. This should take about 10 minutes.
Raise the heat to medium, stir in the rice and let it fry for a few minutes before adding the wine, which I feel is a libation to the stomach gods. It should sizzle like a Brit on the beach.

Stir gently until the liquid is absorbed and add the stock, a ladle/cupful/mugful at a time. Or like me, slosh it from the jug.

Whilst it the rice absorbs the stock, chop the asparagus into short lengths, cork size if you like.

As the rice gets to the al dente where it’s almost done, add the asparagus and the last of the stock.
When the rice is done, the asparagus should be tender at which point add the remaining butter, the zest & juice of the lemon and the handful of Parmesan.

Serve, with a bit more Parmesan on top if you like. I top mine off with a small drizzle of chilli oil, and enjoy the rest of the bottle of wine.

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