Asparagus and broad bean risotto

Eleanor Smallwood makes an asparagus and broad bean risotto bursting with the fresh flavours of spring
By Eleanor Smallwood
Asparagus and broad bean risotto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 80 g unsalted butter
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 stick celery
  • 1.5 litres vegetable stock
  • 350 g risotto rice, such as Carnaroli
  • 1 glass white wine
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped into short lengths
  • 150 g broad beans, blanched and double podded
  • 1 lemon, zest only
  • 80 g parmesan, or vegetarian Italian hard cheese, grated

Method

1. Melt half the butter in a wide, high-sided pan over a low heat. Add the onion and celery, and let it soften and become silky without colouring.

2. Stir in the rice, coating the grains in the buttery mixture, and cook for a couple of minutes until the grains become translucent.

3. Heat the stock in another saucepan, keeping it at simmering point.

4. Turn up the heat under the risotto and add the white wine. Allow it to bubble up, stirring the rice until all the liquid is absorbed. Add the chopped asparagus and a ladleful of the hot stock.

5. Stir the rice until all of the stock has been absorbed, then add another ladleful of stock and carry on stirring. Continue doing this until the rice is creamy and tender but still has a little bite to it, this will take about 20 minutes. You may not need all of the stock, but equally you may have to top it up with some hot water.

6. After 15 minutes of cooking and stirring, add the blanched broad beans to the pan.

7. When the risotto is cooked, take the pan from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, parmesan and remaining butter. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover and leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving.

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