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Asparagus is one of the most loved vegetables the world over and in many countries it’s considered an aphrodisiac! With its “root” going back over 4000 years to the ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Apparently the ancient Roman Emperors were so fond of asparagus that they sent merchants all the way to Egypt just to bring in the precious vegetable. I completely understand why.
The asparagus season starts in April, from then you have around 30 to 40 days to find the freshest asparagus and to prepare it in your favourite way. This is one of my favourite ways…
INGREDIENTS (serves 4 people)
500 g fresh asparagus
320 g Arborio o Carnaroli rice
½ a leek
1 l of vegetable broth
50 g of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
3 Table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
2 knobs of butter
Prepare the broth in a pot and keep it warm on a low flame.
Wash the asparagus and cut them into thin slices, except the white parts and the heads (add these to the broth last).
Use a large pan to brown the thinly sliced leek in the extra virgin olive oil and add the knob of butter.
Add the rest of the asparagus and half a glass of white wine. Then add the rice, wait for a few seconds until it’s golden brown and cook with the broth, adding it one ladle at a time.
Keep stiring until the rice is almost done, stop adding the broth and turn off the flame. Add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano, another knob of butter and a little pepper to taste.
Serve and decorate with the head of asparagus boiled in the broth and some fresh chives. Enjoy!
Tip: Warm the plates in the oven before serving if you want the risotto to remain hot and smooth whilst eating.