If vegetables could talk, you’d have a job keeping asparagus quiet. With an illustrious culinary history dating back to 20,000 BC (Yup, that’s four zeros), it’s the grandaddy of the local allotment. Perhaps most curious though, is why it was so popular amongst French monks, given its reputation as an aphrodisiac*. Never ones to pry, we’re just happy to include it in this fantastic springtime risotto alongside our fresh tiger prawns from James Knight of Mayfair.
Boxes and ingredients are packed in facilities that handles Peanut, Nuts, Sesame, Fish, Crustaceans, Milk, Egg, Mustard, Celery, Soya, Gluten and Sulphites. Due to the conflict in Ukraine, it has been necessary to substitute sunflower oil with rapeseed oil in some products without a label change. The FSA have advised that allergic reactions to rapeseed oil are rare.
Fish Stock Pot(ContainsFish)
Flat Leaf Parsley
Netherend Butter Salted(ContainsMilk)
Bring 800ml of water to a simmer with the stock pot. Chop the bottom few centimetres (i.e. the tough bit) from your asparagus and discard them. Chop the asparagus into thumb-sized chunks. Finely chop the parsley, garlic, onion and celery. Tip: Remember to save some parsley for the pile high Moroccan Pita Breads in this weeks box.
Heat 1 tsp of butter and 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Cook half the garlic, the onion and the celery. You want to soften them up for about 5 mins without letting them brown off.
Put your asparagus chunks into your simmering stock for a minute. Remove them from the pan (keep the stock simmering to make your risotto). Leave the asparagus to the side for later.
Add the risotto rice to the onion mixture and coat it in the butter and olive oil. Turn heat to medium, add ¼ tsp of salt and stir. Tip: After about 3 mins there should be a slight translucency around the edges of the rice. Tip: If you have some left over white wine, add 4 tbsp now and let the alcohol bubble off for a minute to mellow the flavour!
Add ½ a cup of your stock to the rice. Use long massaging motions to constantly stir the pan. When the stock is soaked up, add another ½ a cup. Keep going like this for around 15-20 mins on medium heat, until the stock is used up.
Heat 2 tsp of olive oil and 1 tsp of butter in a non-stick pan on high heat. When the butter bubbles, add the prawns and the remaining garlic. Add the asparagus and a pinch of salt and pepper. Cook until the prawns just turn pink, then remove from the heat.
Taste the rice (be careful, it’s hot!). It should be soft yet with a slight firmness in the centre. If not add half a cup of water and cook it for a little longer. Gently mix in the prawns, asparagus, ¾ of the parmesan and the parsley.
Taste once more for seasoning and add a little salt and pepper if necessary. Serve in bowls with a sprinkle of parmesan and if you have some good quality olive oil (or decadent truffle oil!) drizzle a little on top.