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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Asparagus, mint and lemon risotto

I loved the idea of a creamy risotto in a fresh tasting and green-feel version, with lemon zest and mint leaves, ever since I first saw it at Jamie Oliver's. That was a long time ago (right before we started learning how to cook together) but I never forgot about it and eventually had the time and mood to make it.
The result was just as nice as you can imagine given the ingredients. :) Fresh tasting, green-herbal flavored and perfect for spring or summer.
Recipe pretty much adapted from Jamie Oliver.

Last year: Elder-flower-rum cream tartelettes with raspberries.
Two years ago: Salmon Smorrebrod (Danish), Upside-down banana cake with raisins and walnuts and Chinese-style pork sesame balls.

Ingredients (serves 3-4):
  • 30 ml olive oil
  • 3-4 garlic cloves 
  • 1 medium yellow onion
  • 250 g arborio rice
  • 250 ml dry white wine
  • 500 ml vegetable broth
  • salt and pepper
  • 30 g butter
  • 100 g finely grated Parmesan
  • 250 g green asparagus
  • 1 bunch of fresh mint (15 g)
  • zest from one lemon (1 tablespoon)
  • juice from half a lemon

Prepare the asparagus by breaking off and discarding the woody ends.

Cut the floral-like ends and keep them whole (3-4 cm length). Chop up the rest of each spear in thin slices (disks):

Chop up the onion and the garlic and put them in a large pan, with the olive oil.

Slowly fry them, stirring once in a while, until they're golden brown, then remove the solids and reserve them in a bowl (leaving the flavored olive oil back in the pan):

Put the rice in the oil and start frying it, stirring:

Continue to do so until the rice is translucent and slightly golden (about 5 minutes). Then pour half of the white wine in it:

Stir until all the liquid is evaporated and absorbed, then pour the rest of the wine and do the same. Meanwhile, bring the soup stock to a boil and put the chopped asparagus in it:

Let it boil for 2-3 minutes, then remove from the heat. When the rice has absorbed all the wine, start pouring 1 glass (ladle) of stock at a time in it, and again stirring until completely dissolved and so on:

When the rice has absorbed all the stock it's almost ready. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper to taste. Turn off the heat and add the chopped mint, the butter and the lemon zest and juice:

Also add the fried onions and garlic and the grated Parmesan:

Stir very well, then cover with a lid so the residual heat can work its magic on binding together all the ingredients. Remove the lid after 3-4 minutes and it's done. Transfer to serving plates or bowls and dig in! :)

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