I had a delicious basil and parmesan risotto in Bibiana during Restaurant Week this summer in DC. It was fab. But I couldn’t enjoy it too much because Big Sister had ordered it and I had enough to enjoy with my chorizo-stuffed calamari and squid ink dish, which was quite yummy, but not on a par with the risotto.
So thank my lucky stars for Google because I found this lovely recipe from Dinner du Jour. Despite the decent amount of butter and white wine, this risotto is not at all heavy. There were empty plates all round. The roasted asparagus, topped with a fluffy layer of grated parmesan, is heaven. I added a dash of freshly grated nutmeg, simply because I am obsessed with nutmeg, and amazingly enough, it worked out. Huzzah.
Lemon, Parmesan & Pea Risotto with Roasted AsparagusFor the risotto: 60g butter 1 onion, finely chopped 1 celery rib, chopped 1½ cups arborio/risotto rice 1 cup / 240ml dry white wine Approx 1 litre vegetable stock 1 cup fresh or frozen peas Zest and juice of ½ lemon 4 tblsp / 20g grated parmesan Salt and freshly ground black pepper Freshly grated nutmeg (optional) For the roasted asparagus: 1 bunch fresh asparagus Olive oil Salt and freshly ground black pepper ½ cup / 50g grated parmesan
1. Preheat the oven to 200C / 400F.
2. In a large, non-stick pan, heat the butter, onion and celery. Cook for 5 mins until they have begun to soften. Meanwhile, prepare the vegetable stock and keep at simmering heat over the hob.
3. Mix the rice in with the onion and celery, coating it in butter. Cook for 1-2 mins. Pour in the white wine and allow it to bubble away. Allow the rice to absorb it completely before starting with the stock.
4. Add one ladleful of stock at a time, allowing each addition to absorb before ading the next one. You may not need all the stock. Keep adding it until the rice is al dente, or to your desired consistency.
5. Meanwhile, place the asparagus spears on a baking sheet, about ½ inch apart. Drizzle with a good glug of olive oil. Sprinkle the salt and black pepper over them and oven for 15 mins. Remove from the oven, push the spears together and cover in the parmesan. Oven for another 1-2 mins until the cheese has melted or until it has begun to brown.
6. Back to the rice. Once it is al dente, add the lemon juice, lemon zest, peas and parmesan. Stir and cook for another 4 mins. Plate everything and grate the nutmeg over it if you’re using it.