Monday, March 03, 2014

SPRINGTIME RISOTTO

Even though it's started raining again, you can tell it's spring by the armfuls of Sicilian asparagus being sold from vegetable lorries at the roadside and the other day I decided I could resist no longer!  As there's still a bit of pumpkin to be had, I saw no reason for not combining these two favourite risotto vegetables of mine:



First, take a piece of pumpkin weighing about 250 gr and separate the flesh from the skin. Discard any fibrous bits and the seeds, then chop the flesh into small chunks. Now prepare the asparagus - as I said, I got about an armful! Wash it, then cut it diagonally about an inch below the spears. [Sicilian asparagus is very tender so you can leave more of the stalks on if you wish, or chop and add them separately.] Cook the pumpkin in a pan of salted, boiling water for about 10 mins or until tender, then add the asparagus for just a minute or two. Drain.

In a wide pan at least 2 inches deep, soften a chopped white onion in 4 tablesp olive oil.  As I've said before, there are only two secrets to making a good risotto: one is to use the right kind of rice and the other is contained in that word I would ban in other circumstances - pazienza. Once the onion is softened, add about 2 tablesp out of 500 gr arborio or other risotto rice and stir it around for about a minute. Have ready 1 litre of vegetable or chicken stock. [If you are awfully good and have had time you'll have made the stock from the asparagus stalks and some other vegetables but I'm not and I didn't.] Now add the rest of the rice and about one third of the stock. Stir everything, turn the heat down and go and do something useful such as checking that the world didn't end while you weren't on facebook. Come back, check that the rice has absorbed the stock and if it has, add another third. [If it hasn't, stir and wait!] Repeat the process, adding, with the final third of the stock, some seasoning - I decided it was time to use that nice lemon and mint flavoured seasalt I showed you a couple of weeks ago - some chopped fresh sage and the pumpkin and asparagus. Add the juice of a lemon, stir and let the rice absorb the last of the stock. Once it has and is al dente, stir in a couple of tablesp grated Parmesan, Grana Padano or Ragusano cheese and add a few knobs of butter. Stir vigorously and serve.



Serves 4 generously.

7 comments:

Linda said...

Awesome. I love asparagus and just had some for supper this evening!

Betty said...

It just so happens that asparagus and pumpkin are two of my favorites. Sounds like a great combination with the rice.

Winchester whisperer said...

Good idea WL - are you having pancakes today?

Trubes said...

Ooh I say Welshcakes, just like the look of that, drooling as I write,
love Di..xx

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Hi, Linda. Glad you like it too! Thanks, Betty - yes, it worked well. Thanks, WW. No - I forgot!

Welshcakes Limoncello said...

Thanks, Trubes - glad you like the idea. x

Lee said...

I love risotto...and I love fresh asparagus...I love canned asparagus, too.

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