Ciao, welcome back to my blog!
Today I am going to share with you how to make delicious risotto with asparagus tips!
It is officially Spring and we had a couple of very sunny days so I am more than ready to include some seasonal vegetables such as asparagus on my menu.
Despite the sun, the temperatures are still quite wintery, therefore I still feel the need for something warm like a soup or a comforting bowl of rice.
I went to my local street vendor to buy some asparagus, however, that brought me back into time, when I was a little girl and I really miss going with my dad into the woods confining our land to pick wild asparagus.
After a couple of hours spent strolling in nature where he knew they would grow, we used to come back home with a big bunch of asparagus and cook a nice risotto or a frittata together.
For those who are not familiar with frittata, it is a dish similar to omelette.
"Frittata is an egg-based Italian dish similar to an omelette or crustless quiche or scrambled eggs, enriched with additional ingredients such as meats, cheeses or vegetables. The word frittata is Italian and roughly translates to "fried." - from Wikipedia.
I opted for basmati rice as it takes only 10 to 12 minutes to cook with the addition of a pinch of saffron, which is a lovely spice with earthy and nutty notes. If you don't have it in your cupboard the best and closest substitute for it, is turmeric powder.
Turmeric is a member of the ginger family and one of my go-to spices: it has potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties so I recommend to add some to your vegetable recipes at all times.
Turmeric's flavour is slightly peppery with a mildly bitter note and it is amazing to give some extra taste and brighter colour to your dishes. It is great in soups, stews and stir-fries of any kind.
Onion is a must-have to make risotto as it is necessary to make the classic soffritto base that brings the dish to the next level.
-250g basmati rice
-a bunch of asparagus tips
-a big leek
-A pinch of saffron or a teaspoon of turmeric powder
-2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
-A pinch of salt
-A pinch of chilli flakes (optional)
-A pinch of thyme
-A cube of vegetable stock
-Half tablespoon of salted butter
-Grated Parmesan cheese
-Start slicing you leek. Don't throw away the dark green ends, they will be as nice as the light bits once cooked.
-Place the sliced leek in a bowl full of water and wash it well to get rid of the dirt and sand it might be inside. Use a colander to drain it and pat it dry with a clean towel.
-Chop roughly the onion
-Drizzle some extra virgin olive oil in a wok pan. Add the chilli flakes and the thyme. Let it warm up for a minute.
-Toss the onion and the leeks in the wok and stir well to allow the aroma to release. Cover with a lid and let it cook for a couple of minutes.
-Meanwhile, wash the asparagus tips and cut them into rather big bits. Put them into the pan and season the vegetables with a bit of salt (if you prefer you can also drizzle some soy sauce).
-Bring to boil 0,8 L of water.
-Put a cube of vegetable stock in the pan, pour a cup of hot water on it and let it melt.
-Add the basmati rice and give it a nice stir, then include the remaining water and the turmeric powder.
-The rice should be ready in 10 minutes (basmati rice cooks very quickly, that's why I use it often)
-It's time to switch off the stove. The essential part for an excellent risotto: what Italians call "mantecatura", which means including some grated parmesan cheese and butter to make the risotto nice and creamy.
-Serve hot with a sprinkle of extra grated Parmesan on top
I hope you guys enjoyed my rather springy recipe today!
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Check out another of my recipes with asparagus: