A wonderfully rich and simple asparagus and pea risotto that is ready in less than 30 minutes. Lower in fat as only uses 2 tablespoons of low fat creme fraiche and 30 grams of parmesan.
Rich, creamy delicious!
I’m always happy to see asparagus appear back in the supermarkets. The season is short, so I always try and take a chance to nab it when it is available. As well as being incredibly tasty, it is known for being a very healthy food, full of excellent anti inflammatory nutrients and high in vitamins such as vitamin K and folate, so it’s good to get some fresh asparagus into you when you get a chance!
I love the mixture of crunchy asparagus with creamy risotto, to me it’s a complete match made in heaven, add to it some frozen peas and mint and you have a beautifully rich, yet fresh tasting meal.
My method for cooking risotto is really no fuss. I have found that there is very little difference in texture and taste between when I stand and stir the risotto throughout the entire cooking process compared with when I just cover it with a lid and leave it to do it’s thing, stirring only a couple of times. So therefore, I just add the stock, give it a stir and then leave it for about 15 minutes to soak up the juices, giving it a quick stir once or twice.
Our asparagus is pretty thick around the girth here in New Zealand, so I leave it for longer in the risotto than I would do if I were living in the UK for example. So, judge for yourself how long you want to leave it. I cook it for 5 minutes in the risotto and it comes out with still a bit of crunch, which is how I like it. If you prefer it to be very well cooked, then blanch it a little first in hot water and then add it to the risotto.
This is a beautiful vegetarian dish that tastes just as good the next day.
serve it with my green bean, radish & feta salad.
- 1 cup risotto rice (arborio rice)
- 1 cup white wine
- 1½ Tbsp olive oil spread (or butter)
- 2 bunches fresh asparagus (approximately 12 stalks)
- ½ cup frozen peas (no need to defrost)
- 30 g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- 3 cups vegetable stock
- 2 Tbsp low fat creme fraiche
- 1 shallot, finely chopped (can substitute for brown onion)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh mint, finely chopped
- salt, for seasoning
- pepper, for seasoning
- Remove the woody ends of the asparagus and then chop the stalks into 1 cm rounds stopping 1 cm before the tip begins so that you keep the tips intact. Put to one side.
- In a large pan melt the butter and add the onion and garlic and fry for 3 minutes until soft.
- Add the risotto rice and fry for 2 minutes. Keep stirring so that it doesn't burn.
- Add the white wine, bring to the boil and stir until the wine is absorbed.
- Add the stock to the pan, stir and put a lid over the pan. Turn down the heat and leave it to cook for 15 minutes. Stir it once or twice to ensure that the rice hasn't stuck to the bottom of the pan. You will know it is ready when the rice is soft but still intact.
- Add the asparagus, mint and peas. Stir and cover the pan with a lid. Leave to cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
- Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the creme fraiche and the parmesan.
- Season if needed.
- Serve with fresh parmesan grated on top.