- 350g bunch asparagus
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch (about 9) spring onions , ends trimmed, sliced
- 175g fresh or frozen pea
- 250g shelled fresh or frozen broad bean
- 2 tbsp shredded basil
- 2 tbsp snipped chive
- 1 tbsp finely chopped mint
- finely grated zest 1 lemon
- 1.7 litres/3 pints vegetable bouillon (we used Marigold)
- 4 shallots , finely chopped
- 3 plump garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 300g carnaroli or arborio rice
- 150ml dry white wine
- 25g parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), grated
- 25g rocket leaves
- STEP 1
Cut the woody ends off the asparagus, then slice the stems into 5cm diagonal lengths. Heat half the oil in a large, wide non-stick frying pan. Tip in the asparagus and stir-fry over a medium-high heat for about 4 mins or until nicely browned all over (Step 1). Stir in the spring onions and fry for 1-2 mins with the asparagus until browned. Remove, season with pepper and set aside. Cook the peas and beans separately in a little boiling water for 3 mins each, then drain each through a sieve. When the broad beans are cool enough to handle, pop them out of their skins. Set the peas and beans to one side. Mix the basil, chives, mint and lemon zest together in a small bowl and season with pepper (Step 2). Set aside.
- STEP 2
Pour the stock into a saucepan and keep it on a very low heat. Pour the remaining oil into a large, wide sauté pan. Tip in the shallots and garlic, and fry for 3-4 mins until soft and only slightly brown. Stir in the rice and continue to stir for 1-2 mins over a medium-high heat. As it starts to sizzle, pour in the wine and stir again until the wine has been absorbed. Start to stir in the hot stock, 1½ ladlefuls at a time (Step 3), so it simmers and is absorbed after each addition. To tell when it is ready to have the next 1½ ladlefuls added, drag the spoon across the bottom of the pan and it should leave a clear line. Keep stirring the whole time, to keep the risotto creamy. Continue adding the stock as above – after 20 mins the rice should be soft with a bit of chew in the middle. If it isn’t, add more stock – you should still have at least a ladleful of stock left at this point. Season with pepper, you shouldn’t need to add any salt.
- STEP 3
Take the pan off the heat. Pour over a ladleful of the remaining stock to keep the mixture fluid, then scatter over all the vegetables, a grinding of pepper, half of the herb mix (Step 4) and half the cheese. Cover with the pan lid and let the risotto sit for 3-4 mins to rest. Gently stir everything together, if necessary adding a drop more remaining stock for good consistency. Ladle into serving dishes and serve topped with a small pile of rocket and the rest of the herbs and cheese scattered over.