Here's a nice spring recipe! Asparagus are in season and one of my favourite things to do with them is to make a risotto. With fresh mint and lemon and topped with crispy prosciutto this is real comfort food, warm and delicious.
Risotto is also very easy to make, you just can't leave it alone so you need to get all your ducks in a row before you start. All in all it shouldn't take you more than 30 minutes so it's also something you can knock up relatively fast but with maximum impact!
Asparagus risotto with lemon and mint
Ingredients (serves 2)
200g/7oz risotto rice (like arborio)
250ml/9fl oz white wine
500ml/18fl oz hot chicken or vegetable stock
8 asparagus spears, cut into 1.5 inch pieces
1 white onion, diced
25g/1oz butter or olive oil
75g/2¾oz grated parmesan cheese
1 slice prosciutto
Small handful of chopped mint leaves
Lemon wedge to serve
Salt and Pepper
Before you begin...
Steam the asparagus for 2-3 minutes until cooked and set to one side
Fry the prosciutto until crispy, and set to one side
Heat the butter in a large casserole pot. I use Le Creuset, which is very expensive but it lasts forever - the dish I have was a wedding gift to my parents in 1975! So I do think they are a worthy investment. You can get one here (affiliate link). Alternatively, any deep saucepan/casserole dish will do the trick but be careful with the heat setting as you don't want anything to catch.
Add the diced onion and fry until soft. Then add the rice and stir so it gets coated in the butter (mmmmmm) before pouring in the wine. The smell of onion frying in butter is one of my absolute favourites.
The wine is the last cold thing to go in the pot, from now on everything that goes in there needs to be hot so make sure your stock is at temperature.
Stir regularly until the wine has nearly all been absorbed and then start adding the stock.
You need to add it slowly, one ladle at a time, continually stirring as the rice absorbs the liquid.
It will take roughly 15-20 minutes, and keep an eye on the rice as it might not need all the stock so check it to see if done. It will still have a slight firmness to it, but it won't be hard or crunchy.
At this point, turn the heat off and allow it to rest. Add a bit more butter, some salt and pepper and stir in the parmesan cheese.
Now add the cooked asparagus and chopped mint and stir it through before spooning onto a plate. Squeeze over the lemon and crumble the prosciutto over the top.
Enjoy! I like to serve with a crisp green salad of baby gem lettuce and a glass of chilled dry white wine.