Boyfriend is away in Scotland for a couple of days so it means its vegetable dinners ahoy for me! I’m not a vegetarian (although quite easily could be) but as I have mentioned before, particularly in my ratatouille post that boyfriend doesn’t like vegetables which means I do suffer a bit. Although I hate it when he’s away, it does mean I can cook my favourite dinners that he would otherwise not be keen on. So yes, it sounds a bit lame when I get so excited about cooking and involving vegetables in my food but I am sure you guys totally understand why…
What you will need to make a mushroom and asparagus risotto:
Vegetable or olive oil -totally up to you.
1 pint of stock -I crumble either a chicken or vegetable stock cube to hot/boiled water. You may also need more or less stock depending on how much risotto you are planning to make.
A small measure of white wine (optional) –if I have some in the fridge I’ll use it but if not it’s not an essential ingredient.
Risotto/Aborio rice –I am quite, let’s say, freehand when it comes to measuring things unless I am baking or following a very specific recipe for something so with rice I work out quantities but tipping some out onto a plate. Of course do remember that it expands but if you do really feel you need a measure I think a portion of rice per person should be about 50g.
Asparagus, chopped but I like to keep the pieces quite chunky -this is a rare treat for me & I only really eat it when Boyfriend is away otherwise I have to pick all the bits out before plating up his portion (yes, really). But on the whole I use about 4-5 stalks.
Garlic, 1 glove chopped or paste will do.
Salt & pepper for seasoning.
Cheese, grated –use whatever cheese you like, I would plump for cheddar or parmesan.
I haven’t included it today but chicken goes brilliantly in/with risotto. What I like to do is get a breast of chicken (per person), put it in an oven proof dish or roasting tin, fill it with water so that the chicken is covered up to half way, then put it in the oven on a medium heat for about 20 minutes. When it comes out it should be beautifully moist and I like to slice it on top of the risotto.
How to cook:
Begin by heating some oil in the pan then add the onions & garlic and cook for about 5 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the rice and the wine (if you’re using it) and stir.
Once most of the moisture/cooking juices/wine have been absorbed by the rice, start adding the stock a ladle at a time until eventually the rice has absorbed it all. This takes about 20 minutes stirring regularly otherwise it’ll all stick to the pan and becomes a mess.
While the rice is cooking, add the mushrooms and asparagus* and stir into the mixture. Season well.
*If you would prefer, you can cook the mushrooms and asparagus in a separate pan before adding to the risotto.
You’ll know the dish is ready when all the stock has been used up and the rice is soft. Once plated, sprinkle over the grated cheese and enjoy!