It may not be much warmer, but the days are definitely getting longer, the sun is coming up earlier and just like the first crop of spring veg picked from our farms, our palates are slowly changing. More greens and more zingy freshness but with a touch of winter comfort. Hit the spot with James’ Asparagus Risotto.
- 300g British asparagus, roughly chopped
- 150g arborio rice
- 1 small glass of white wine – we love Sharpham Dart Valley Reserve
- 1 banana shallot, finely diced
- 1 clove of garlic, finely diced
- 75g grated truffle Gloucester cheese
- 50g butter
- 400ml vegetable stock
- Handful of rocket
- Juice of ½ lemon
For the herb oil
- 100g parsley
- 200ml olive oil
- Start by heating your stock and finely dicing your shallot and garlic.
- Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pan (a cast iron casserole dish also works well) and sauté the shallot and garlic in the butter for 3-4 mins.
- Add your risotto rice to the pan and stir for 2-3 mins, ensuring the rice is well coated in the butter.
- Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow the alcohol to evaporate. Add a ladleful of hot stock at a time to the pan, stirring continuously and adding more stock when the majority has been absorbed.
- When the rice has softened but still has some bite (after around 15 mins), add the asparagus for the final 4-5 mins.
- To make the herb oil, blitz the parsley and olive oil in a food processor, then pour into a small pan and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and strain into a jug using a steel sieve. Allow to cool and keep in the fridge for up to a month.
- Finish the asparagus risotto with a generous amount of grated truffle Gloucester cheese and stir it in to melt. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon juice just before serving.
- Drizzle the dish with herb oil and plate up on a large handful of rocket.