Spring is a wonderful season and finally we can peruse of all the fresh, seasonal and local produce, which has to taste superior to any other fruit and vegetables, as it doesn't travel the world before reaching our market stalls. This invariably has a big impact on our daily menu, with asparagus, peas, strawberries and the like being the protagonists of the moment.
Nothing easier than whipping up a quick risotto on a weeknight when you're tired after work - just get you better half to chop the onions, while you trim some asparagus stalks and declare you'll be in charge of stirring the risotto every once in a while, ever so gently, and careful not to knock over the glass of chilled white you're, of course, "only tasting"...
50 g butter
2 shallots (finely chopped)
300 g risotto rice (this time I used Vialone Nano)
200 ml Martini Dry (or Noilly Prat)
1 l vegetable stock
250 g green asparagus
60 g parmesan (finely grated)
parmesan to serve
Gently heat the butter in a deep, non-stick pan. Add the shallots and fry until softened, but not browned. Meanwhile, trim the asapagus stalks and cut into bite-sized pieces. Keep the thicker and thinner parts separate, as you will add them at different stages.
Add the risotto rice to the pan and stir in thoroughly. Deglaze with the Martini and let cook off. Add half of the stock and the thicker asparagus pieces. Leave to cook until almost all the liquid has evaporated, stirring every once in a while. Add the rest of the stock and the remaining asparagus and again, cook off the stock. When the rice is soft, turn off the heat and stir in the parmesan. Leave to stand for about 5 minutes, then serve with some more parmesan to decorate.