Lemony, fresh and rich risotto with asparagus. The pesto is an added extra but gives it some zing!
- Oven-proof frying pan
- Pre-heated oven at 180FAN / 200c
- 250 g Arborio rice
- 1 onion diced
- 1 leek sliced
- 2 cloves garlic chopped
- 150 ml white wine
- 1000 ml vegetable stock use 2 stock cubes
- 1 knob butter
- 30 ml olive oil
- 6 asparagus cut into thirds
- 100 g peas about 1 cup
- 50 g watercress
- 3 bay leaves optional
- 2 sprigs mint leaves
- 100 g parmesan cheese grated Or pecorino
- 0.5 lemon zest and juice
Homemade Pesto – optional
- 30 g fresh basil
- 1 cloves garlic
- 40 g parmesan cheese grated, or pecorino
- 2 tbsp toasted almonds
- 0.5 lemon juice
- 1 tsp honey
- 30 ml olive oil
- Fry the onion, garlic and leek in olive oil until soft, about 4 minutes, then add the rice and wine and continue cooking until the wine is evaporated then pour in 3/4 of the stock, lemon zest and herbs and season generously with a couple of pinches of salt. Bring to a simmer then cover with a lid and bake in the oven for 15 minutes (you can continue on the hob if preferred).
- While the risotto is cooking, briefly simmer the asparagus and peas in salted water, drain and reserve.
- Once the rice is cooked, remove from the oven and stir in the parmesan, butter and lemon juice and top with more stock to loosen to your preference. Finally fold in the asparagus and peas and top with the watercress and give it a good turn of black pepper and a drizzle of olive oil and serve.
- Add all the pesto ingredients to a food processor and blitz until smooth; or finely chop and grate, top with more olive oil or lemon juice as preferred and drizzle over the risotto for some extra oomph!
Use chicken stock for more flavour. Try Italian mixed herbs or add a few sprigs of thyme and rosemary. If you really can’t live without meat, cubed chicken will go well in this.
Nutrition Per Serving
Calories: 607kcal | Carbohydrates: 70g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 8g | Cholesterol: 24mg | Sodium: 1578mg | Potassium: 410mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2377IU | Vitamin C: 38mg | Calcium: 493mg | Iron: 5mg