This asparagus risotto was so good that I made it again. It can be adapted to suit your pantry and the season. Add frozen peas with the last ladle of stock for an asparagus and pea risotto. Or add 3 leaves of prosciutto, cut into strips, with the rice for a meal that includes meat.
We are heading to Europe later in the year. We have plans to spend time in The Netherlands, which includes a visit to Amsterdam. As we want to experience a rijsttafel we decided to spend a night in the city. For those of you who don’t know, a rijsttafel (rice table), is an elaborate Indonesian meal which was adapted by the Dutch. It originates in the Padang region of West Sumatra. I started off looking at accommodation close to Schiphol as we have an early morning flight on the Sunday. I am not a huge fan of long commutes that necessitate me waking up too early. Dave was not keen on the idea and so I looked at places close to Central Station. Every suitable place I found was really expensive (for us). But as we are not paying to hire a car, we decided the splurge was worth it.
In error I chose the pay now option and my credit card was debited for the stay. Not having budgeted for this expense right now, I cancelled the booking. And then went on to rebook using the pay later choice. And then Dave had a long think and decided maybe staying at Schiphol for 2 nights was the best plan. Rather than having one night in Amsterdam and then another only 18 minutes away by train. I was quite relieved by his choice as it means less packing and unpacking. And the bonus is that our two nights in a boutique hotel is costing less than the one night in Amsterdam. So a win-win situation all round.
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
- 4 carrots, peeled and finely diced
- 2 celery ribs, finely diced
- 2 red onions, peeled, cut in half and finely diced
- 1 l water
- 170 g asparagus
- 80 g baby spinach leaves
- 15 mls olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 350 g Arborio rice
- 200 mls white wine
- 80 g Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 lemon, zest only
- 10 g butter
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
- Place the carrots, celery, half of the onions and water into a large saucepan
- Finely slice the ends off the asparagus spears (about 3cm) and add to the saucepan
- Bring the stock to a low simmer and cook for 45 minutes
- Add the spinach and simmer for 2 minutes, then blend the stock with a stick blender until smooth
- Keep on a low temperature while you start the risotto
- Place the oil into a large heavy-based non-stick saucepan and heat over a medium temperature
- Add the rest of the onion, lower the temperature and sauté until soft
- Add the garlic and continue to cook until soft
- Then add the rice and cook, stirring gently, until the rice is covered with oil and starts to go opaque
- Pour in the wine and simmer until the wine is nearly all absorbed
- Add one ladle of the stock, a pinch of salt and stir to combine
- Cook on a low simmer until all of the stock is absorbed
- Continue adding the remaining stock a ladle at a time, stirring each time you add some, until the rice is cooked and has just a little bite when tasted
- When all of the liquid has been absorbed, turn off the heat and stir in the cheese, zest and butter
- Season to taste, add the asparagus and serve
Inspiration published on Lavender and Lime February 14:
For those of you celebrating, happy St. Valentine’s Day!