Asparagus, Lemon and Mint Risotto

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into 1 inch lengths, plus a couple whole for garmish
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove of garlic, crushed
  • Juice from half a medium lemon
  • 12 oz. of risotto rice
  • 2.5 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 5 oz. dry white wine 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1.5 tbsp. +1.5 tbsp. butter
  • 20 oz. vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp. fresh mint leaves, finely chopped

DIRECTIONS

Melt 1.5 tbsp of the butter together with the olive oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan.  Add the onion and garlic and sauté until the onion is translucent and soft but do not let it brown.

Add the rice and cook for a minute or two, stirring constantly stir so that each grain is well-coated with oil/butter.  Add the white wine and keep stirring until the liquid has been absorbed almost completely.

Add the hot stock a ladleful at a time.  Keep stirring until each ladleful has been completely absorbed, but do not let the rice dry out and stick to the pot.  Once each ladleful is absorbed, add the next until the stock has all been added.  The rice should be soft but each grain should retain some bite in the center, perfectly al dente, which should take about 20 minutes.

5 minutes before the rice is ready, cook the asparagus pieces in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, or until tender.  Drain and reserve.

Stir the asparagus, mint and lemon juice into the risotto. Cook over a low heat, stirring constantly, until heated through. Remove from the heat and stir in the grated Parmesan cheese and remaining 1.5 tbsp of butter. Taste and adjust the seasoning if necessary.

Using a vegetable peeler, slice your reserved whole asparagus into thin ribbons.  Garnish the risotto with this and a little more grated Parmesan and serve immediately.

 

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