I've never been a massive fan of asparagus, and its always so expensive thanks to its short season, I've never tried to grow it either as it's a labour intensive crop and I'm far too impatient for that. Then, the other day I found a couple of bunches in the knock down section of the local supermarket and I thought OK let's see what all the fuss is about! After all it is known to some as a delicacy.
After a little research I found out that asparagus is pretty good for you, but then again aren't all fruit and vegetables? Asparagus is brimming with antioxidants, which help prevent cell damage, and those green spears also provide anti-inflammatory nutrients. Had I been missing out on a little treat?
I had tried asparagus before and the taste was nothing to shout home about, but perhaps it wasn't the vegetable but the cooking method? You can't go wrong with a risotto in my eyes, a creamy, tasty and heavenly dish, that can be kept simple but still packs a punch in the taste department. So without further a do I set to in my kitchen and my asparagus and garden pea risotto was born...............
1 Tbsp Olive oil
1 Onion, finely diced
1 Garlic clove, crushed
300g Risotto Rice
1.3 Litres of vegetable stock
120g Asparagus, cut into 3cm pieces
380g Frozen peas, defrosted
3 Tbsp Nutritional yeast
35g Garlic & herb toffutti spread
10g Greek basil
Salt & Pepper
Sauté the diced onions in the olive oil for about three minutes or until they start to brown. Add the crushed garlic and sauté for another 2 minutes.
Add 100ml of the vegetable stock, the mixture will bubble furiously, scrape the bottom of the pan to dislodge any onion that has started to stick to the bottom of the pan.
Add the rice and give everything a good stir to coat the rice with the onion, garlic and the little stock. Add 300ml more of the vegetable stock and after a quick stir let simmer until the liquid has been absorbed. Repeat another two times so you use another 600ml of the vegetable stock.
When the vegetable stock has been soaked up, around 10 minutes add the asparagus pieces and another 200ml of the vegetable stock and simmer until the stock has been absorbed.
Add the peas and the final 100ml of vegetable stock and stir to combine, add the nutritional yeast and stir through. Add the toffuti and stir to melt through the mixture.
Add the vitalite and beat through to make the rice glossy. Finally add the Greek basil and stir through before serving.