Vegetable risottos are among a few vegetable dishes that I think really work on their own rather than as a side to a main course of domesticated animal carcass. I chose asparagus because it's in season right now and mushrooms because they're awesome. This recipe will serve about 4 people.
- 12 asparagus spears
- 3 flat cap or porcini mushrooms
- 2-3 garlic cloves
- 3 shallots
- 300g arborio rice (or other risotto rice)
- Handful of flat leaf parsley leaves
- Leaves from a few thyme sprigs
- Glass of dry white wine
- About 600ml hot vegetable stock
- 2 tbsps olive oil
- A knob of butter
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Heat the olive oil on a medium heat in a large saucepan.
- Finely chop the garlic and dice the shallots.
- Fry the garlic in the oil for about 30 seconds until it's fragrant, then add the butter. When the butter is foaming, add the shallots and gently fry them for about 10 minutes, stirring frequently, until they're soft and transluscent.
- Add the wine to the pan, bring it to the boil and let it reduce for a few minutes, scraping the sediment off the bottom of the pan using your spatula or wooden spoon.
- Add the rice to the pan and fry it for a couple of minutes, then add a little of the stock and seasoning.
- Chop up the parsley and add it to the risotto along with the thyme and a little more stock.
- Break the bottom of the asparagus stalks off so that you only have the green majority left (reserve the stalk ends for stocks and soups). Add a little stock and simmer.
- Slice the mushrooms and add them to the risotto along with a little stock. Basically, you want to keep adding the stock in small increments, letting the rice absorb it. The risotto is ready when the texture is creamy and the rice and vegetables are tender. Check the seasoning as you go along.