Seasonal local food recipe No.226 – Nigel’s asparagus and lemon risotto

The lemon juice gives this risotto a lovely fresh taste.  It’s from Nigel Slater’s The Kitchen Diaries.  The original recipe uses chicken stock but I am sure vegetable stock will be just as good.

Serves 2

Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25-30 minutes

50 g butter
1 small onion, finely chopped
200g arborio rice
1 glass white wine or Noilly Prat
400g asparagus chopped into short lengths
1 litre hot stock
Grated rind and juice of 2 lemons
salt and pepper
3 tbs parmesan cheese, grated

Melt the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a low heat.  Add the onion and let it soften in the butter, stirring occasionally, until it is translucent and silky.  Stir in the rice then add the wine and let it bubble down until the liquid has pretty much disappeared.  Add a ladleful of stock, turn the heat up a bit, then let the liquid almost disappear before adding the asparagus and a second ladle of stock.  Continue adding the stock as it boils down to almost nothing, stirring the rice frequently. Season with salt, pepper, the lemon zest and juice to taste and continue cooking until the rice is creamy but has a little bite left in it.  Stir in the cheese and eat immediately.

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