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Asparagus, Pea and Mint Risotto RECIPE

The simple trick of puréeing the thicker asparagus ends adds an extra creamy element to the dish. Swap the parmesan for a vegetarian hard cheese to make this veggie-friendly.

Serves 4 Total Time 45 mins

Ingredients

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  • 40g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1.2L gluten free vegetable stock
  • 500g asparagus spears, cut in half to separate the tips from the thicker stalk ends
  • 300g risotto rice
  • 100ml dry white wine
  • 100g frozen peas, defrosted, or fresh peas
  • 4 tbsp parmesan, freshly grated, plus extra to serve
  • handful of mint leaves torn

Instructions

  1. Melt half the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over a low heat. Add the onion and cook gently for 10 minutes, or until softened. 
  2. Meanwhile, bring the stock to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the stalk ends of the asparagus to the boiling stock and cook for 8-10 minutes, or until very tender. Reduce the heat and use a slotted spoon to lift the asparagus out of the pan and into a blender or food processor – leave the stock simmering. Blend the stalk ends into a purée and set aside. 
  3. Add the rice to the onions and cook over a medium-low heat, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until the liquid has been absorbed. Add 2 ladles of simmering stock to the rice, and stir continuously until it has been absorbed and the rice clearly parts when a spoon is run through it. Add another ladle of stock; continue stirring and adding the stock in stages until the rice is creamy and almost tender to the bite. This should take 16-18 minutes, and you won’t use all of the stock.
  4. Add the peas, raw asparagus tips and asparagus purée to the risotto. Add another 2 ladles of stock and continue cooking and stirring, until almost all the stock is absorbed. Remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan and remaining butter. Stir vigorously for 10 seconds then cover with a tight-fitting lid and leave to stand for 2 minutes, until the asparagus tips are tender. Serve immediately with a scattering of mint and grating of parmesan.
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