Polpier’s asparagus bed provides a generous harvest of this luxurious crop from mid April to mid June. Delicious eaten with melted Cornish butter and sea salt, it is also gorgeous in a risotto and our recipe guarantees every bit of the asparagus is used. Perfect as a main course for four people, it is also great to serve as a starter for larger groups, particularly in small bowls, because it can be easily eaten with just a fork even when standing up.
12 asparagus spears
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, finally chopped
400g risotto rice
1000ml vegetable stock
Juice of one lemon
Grated pepper and Cornish sea salt
200g Parmesan grated
1. Prepare the asparagus. Bend each piece so the woody end snaps off and use these with one of the chopped onions to make the vegetable stock. The stem should be cut into bite size lengths to add to the cooking risotto and the heads separately steamed and refreshed in ice cold water so they keep their colour and shape to add as decoration to the finished dish.
2. For the risotto, heat the olive oil in a pan and sweat the onion and asparagus stems, making sure they do not brown. Add the rice and stir frequently to coat with oil for one minute, followed by the hot vegetable stock one ladleful at a time. Keep stirring for approximately 15 minutes at a gentle simmer until the liquid is absorbed, adding extra stock until the rice is tender and creamy.
3. Add the lemon juice, a good grating of pepper and a pinch of salt to taste but bear in mind the Parmesan is salty. Put the risotto into a warmed serving dish and sprinkle with the grated Parmesan. It can be kept warm for up to 15 minutes before serving, but only decorate with the asparagus spears at that point so they are beautifully bright green.
Hope you enjoy this yummy vegetarian dish.