Asparagus Risotto

Asparagus Risotto

asparagus risotto olive oil

Asparagus Risotto

The asparagus season is short and intense. Try this recipe if you've overdone it with sauteed and roasted versions of these sensational spears and fancy a change.
This recipe was originally developed for Our Coal Valley
Photo credit: Natalie Mendham
Prep Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine European
Servings 4 people

Ingredients
  

  • 250 g risotto rice eg. arborio or carnaroli
  • 8 tbsp Freshfield Grove extra virgin olive oil – or lemon agrumato olive oil
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed or finely chopped
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 750 ml stock vegetable or chicken
  • 300 – 400 g of asparagus
  • 120 g hard cheese finely grated (eg. pecorino)
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Instructions
 

  • Pour 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil into a large heavy bottomed saucepan and heat over a medium heat.
  • Dice the onion and cook gently until translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the crushed garlic and rice, cook for 1 minute, stirring frequently.
  • Add the white wine, stirring occasionally until it’s mostly absorbed.
  • Add the stock gradually, allowing it to be largely absorbed before adding more. Leave the pan uncovered and stir occasionally.
  • While the rice is cooking chop the asparagus into approximately 2cm lengths, keeping the tips aside. (If the spears are thick you may want to slice them in half to reduce the cooking time.)
  • Heat 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil in a separate pan with a lid and cook the chopped asparagus stalks over medium heat for approximately 3 minutes. Keep covered and stir occasionally.
  • Add the asparagus tips to the stalks and cook covered for a further 2 minutes until just tender. Take off the heat and keep warm.
  • When the rice is cooked (approximately 18-23 minutes) remove it from the heat and season with salt and pepper if required.
  • Add the remaining 4 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, lemon zest, grated cheese, and cooked asparagus to the rice.
  • Cover the pan with a lid and leave to sit for 2 minutes, then uncover and stir the melting cheese and asparagus through the risotto.
  • Serve into warmed bowls and finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Enjoy with a glass of white wine.

Notes

Risotto is a lot more forgiving than you may think! You can get away with adding most of the liquid all at once and stir pretty infrequently, or add it very slowly and stir more for a creamier texture. Keeping the stock at boiling temperature isn’t essential, although it does help keep the temperature more constant while the risotto’s cooking. If you run out of stock before the rice is cooked use a little boiling water to top up.
There are lots of variations on risotto. While asparagus is in season this is one of my favourites, and it’s lovely with the addition of double podded broad beans. For a “straight from the freezer” version it’s hard to beat the Jamie Oliver recipe for pea and prawn risotto. Dried mushrooms are another useful pantry staple for a minimal hassle mushroom risotto.
The flavours here are beautiful finished with a lemon olive oil, but a little extra lemon zest and a spritz of juice work well if you don’t have any.
Risotto is traditionally made with butter, but extra virgin olive oil works just as well, or use a bit of both. If you’re “saving” your premium olive oil then use an everyday one for the cooking parts, and the premium one when you add the cheese at the end – this is where you’ll notice the biggest flavour boost!
Keyword agrumato, asparagus, evoo, extra virgin olive oil, lemon agrumato olive oil, olive oil, risotto
Applesauce Olive Oil Cake

Applesauce Olive Oil Cake

Applesauce Cake

FarmerFi
This is a perfect autumn recipe – inspired by the flavors of freshly picked apples, and freshly harvested walnuts. Serve it up for morning tea, grab one for an emergency breakfast, or enjoy it warm with a dollop of cream for dessert. It’s also useful in being a recipe suitable for those needing or choosing to avoid eggs and dairy products.
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 55 mins
Servings 16

Ingredients
  

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 cup (220g) raw brown sugar
  • 1 cup unsweetened applesauce or stewed apples
  • 2 cups (250g) self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground / grated nutmeg optional
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts optional
  • 1/2 cup sultanas optional

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 180 degrees C.
  • Grease and flour a 20cm square cake tin.
  • Mix olive oil with sugar and applesauce, then beat well.
  • Stir in flour and nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves.
  • Add nuts and sultanas if using, and mix through.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin.
  • Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes or until done.

Notes

Remember to make sure the Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO) and walnuts you’re using are fresh, as both will develop a rancid flavor once oxidized which will be discernable in the finished cake. For EVOO, look for a harvest date of less than 2 years, keep your oil in a cool, dark place, and once opened use within 6-8 weeks.
With walnuts, if you’re buying shelled ones, look for a pale colour – older nuts tend to become darker with age. If you’re lucky enough to live in Tasmania, the walnut harvest has just about finished, so new season nuts will be available very soon.

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If you’re more of a chocolate cake kind of person, then take a look at my favourite olive oil chocolate brownie recipe. And if you’re in need of some amazing, flavour filled Tasmanian Extra Virgin Olive Oil to help you with your kitchen experiments, then head over to our online shop – shipping is by Express Post within Australia, so you don’t have to wait long to get it!

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Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

Sourdough Hot Cross Buns

Easter is just around the corner, and so my mind is turning to hot cross buns! I’ve updated this recipe, posted previously, which details all the steps for making sourdough hot cross buns. I’ve included timings, so they’ll be ready for morning tea on Good Friday, and all measurements are in grams rather than cups.

This recipe is a combination of a few others…

Mrs Beeton's book of cookery and household management

Slightly mangled copy of Mrs Beeton – the dog ate it…

Notes:

On timings: This always ends up taking longer than I expect! The first time I made these, the final stage (stage 3), took me about 3 ½ hours up the point of eating, and I ended up missing my intended morning tea –time slot. A better method for me was to start a day earlier. I do everything up the point when the buns are shaped and on the baking sheet for their final rise, then put them in the fridge overnight. In the morning I take them out, allow about an hour to reach room temperature and rise, and then bake. The timings below will allow you to bake either late on Thursday night, or on Friday morning.

On fats: Traditional recipes use butter in the dough, and then they’re spread with butter for eating. This is unquestionably delicious, but extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) can be used instead, and yields an equally delicious result. Just make sure the oil you use is fresh, so check the harvest date is less than two years ago, and that the bottle has been open for less than 2 months (and preferably stored somewhere cool and dark for that time). When adapting a favourite recipe that uses butter, substitute an equivalent weight of EVOO, and beat with the eggs before adding to your dry ingredients.

And if you need fresh olive oil that’s bursting with peppery flavour, do check out our shop – shipping is via ExpressPost, and there’s no plastic packaging in sight!

On sticky dough: Sourdough is always sticky to work with, at least mine is. You may need to add extra flour to your worktop for kneading, and I always make sure to fill the sink with warm soapy water before I start, so I can easily wash my hands at the end!

On other options: These do take longer than buns which are made with regular bread yeast, and I wouldn’t recommend this as your first sourdough experiment! If it looks daunting, I’d encourage you to have a go at a non-sourdough version, like this one from SBS.

INGREDIENTS:

Starter

  • 150g unfed sourdough starter (100% hydration, ie. fed at a ratio of 1g of water to 1g of flour). This will all be used, so make sure you leave some behind to continue your sourdough’s life!
  • 75g flour
  • 75ml warm water

Buns

  • 160g milk, at room temperature
  • 500g bakers/bread flour – divided into 300g and 200g, plus extra for kneading
  • 8g fine sea salt
  • 60g soft brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground pimento (allspice)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50g extra virgin olive oil (or 60g of softened butter)
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1 orange (optional)
  • 100g currants
  • 50g good quality candied peel, finely diced
  • Warm water (to soak dried fruit)

Crosses

  • 4 tablespoons plain white flour
  • 4 tablespoons water

Glaze

  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • 3 tablespoons white sugar

METHOD:

Stage 1 (eg Wednesday evening)

  1. Take 150g of unfed starter (mine had been fed one week before, and stored in the fridge). All of this 150g of starter will be used, so make sure you’ve got some extra to be able to continue your starter’s life!).
  2. Add 75g of flour and 75g of water, making 300g of starter.
  3. Mix together and leave covered at room temperature for 12 hours. (I cover with a Tasmanian beeswax wrap, plate, or cling film. You can use a cloth, but I find the surface tends to dry out.)

Stage 2 (eg Thursday morning)

  1. Mix together the 300g of starter, 160g milk (at room temperature), 300g of bread flour, and 8g salt to make a sourdough sponge. (The ingredients need to be combined to a dough, but not kneaded further at this stage.)
  2. Leave covered at room temperature for about 12 hours.
  3. Place the currants and candied peel in a small bowl or wide mouthed jar.
  4. Add the juice of the orange (if using), and add enough warm water to cover the fruit by approximately 2cm. (This makes the fruit nice and plump in the finished buns.)

Stage 3 (eg Thursday evening)

  1. Fill the sink with hot soapy water, so you can wash your hands easily after kneading.
  2. Drain the orange juice / water from the dried fruit, and pat dry.
  3. Put 60g brown sugar, 50g extra virgin olive oil, and 2 eggs in a large bowl and beat until light.
  4. Add the sourdough sponge and beat to combine.
  5. Combine the further 200g bread flour, 1tsp allspice, 1 tsp ground cinnamon, then add to the sourdough sponge mixture from the previous step.
  6. Knead for 10 minutes, then set aside for 10 minutes to rest. (You may need extra flour for kneading to reduce sticking.)
  7. Add the drained currants and candied peel mixture to the dough, and knead gently to combine (without squishing the fruit!)
  8. Leave in a covered bowl somewhere warm for 60 minutes. (Under the heat lamp in the bathroom works brilliantly on a cool day.)
  9. Divide the dough into 12 pieces and shape into buns. (I needed to use a bit more flour to reduce stickiness at this point.)
  10. Place on a well-oiled baking sheet, and cover with a well-oiled piece of cling film. (If you don’t oil the cling film, it sticks to the buns and may tear them when you pull it off.)
    • EITHER: Leave covered somewhere warm for 60 minutes if you want to bake straightaway.
    • OR: Put in the fridge overnight, then take them out in the morning (eg. Friday) and place somewhere warm for a hour or so until risen.
  11. Preheat the oven to 200degC (for fan forced).
  12. Get the glaze ingredients ready in a small saucepan.
  13. Make the cross mixture by combining 4 tbsp plain flour and 4 tbsp water. Put in a piping bag (you can make one out of baking paper or a plastic bag if you don’t have one.)
  14. Add the crosses to the risen buns, and place in the hot oven.
  15. Bake for 10 minutes, then rotate the baking sheet 180 degrees to help them brown evenly, and bake for a further 8-10 minutes.
  16. When you’ve rotated the buns, make the glaze: heat the 2 tbsp milk, 2 tbsp water and 3 tbsp sugar in a pan on the stove. Bring to the boil and simmer for 6 minutes.
  17. Take the buns out of the oven. Remove to a cooling rack immediately if possible, and brush with the glaze.
  18. Allow to cool a little, if you’re able… Delicious enjoyed with butter, or a drizzle of fresh Tasmanian extra virgin olive oil!

 

Overnight Oatmeal… with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Overnight Oatmeal… with Extra Virgin Olive Oil

This is one of my “go to” breakfasts. I love that I can make it once and it lasts for two or three days in the fridge. It means I don’t have to think in the morning, and it’s easy to pop in a jar and take with me if I’m short of time. (I’ve even taken it to the airport with me when I had a super early flight, and didn’t want to pay $10 for an airport brekkie!) If you want to save even more time, chop up a big batch of fruit and nuts of your choice and keep them in a jar for another time. And you might think that adding extra virgin olive oil to your morning oats is just too weird, but I love the flavour, and that it keeps me feeling full for longer by slowing digestion and helping keep my blood sugar levels steady.

If you’re looking for other healthy breakfast ideas (or you’re not an oatmeal kind of person), then check out this easy banana bread recipe – it’s perfect with a piece of fruit in the morning!

Id love to hear your favourite fruit / nut / milk combos for this recipe in the comments. And whether you’ve had a go with the added extra virgin olive oil! Alternatively drop me a line at farmerfi@freshfieldgrove.com.au, or find me on Facebook @freshfieldgrove

 


Print Recipe


Overnight Oatmeal… with olive oil

A healthy make ahead breakfast, to get your day off to a good start and help you feel full for longer, using oats, dried fruit, nuts, and olive oil.

oats apricots almonds overmight oatmeal olive oil

Course Breakfast

Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8+ hours

Servings
servings


Ingredients

Course Breakfast

Prep Time 10 minutes
Passive Time 8+ hours

Servings
servings


Ingredients

oats apricots almonds overmight oatmeal olive oil


Instructions
  1. Chop the fruit and nuts.

  2. Add to oats.

  3. Add milk, vanilla, and lemon zest.

  4. Mix together and leave in the fridge overnight in a sealed container.


Recipe Notes
  • I generally use whole milk, but low fat milk, or almond milk are also great.
  • Use any other dried fruits you like, or have hidden in the back of the cupboard.
  • Fresh fruit is also lovely, but better added at the time of eating, try grated apple, chopped nectarine, sliced pear…
  • Walnuts are great in this too, or try seeds, such as sunflower seed kernels.
  • If you don’t have vanilla essence or lemon zest, add a little honey, maple syrup, sugar, or salt to taste.
  • This makes 2-3 portions, and keeps in the fridge for three days.
  • I usually make it and keep it in a single large container in the fridge, but if you put it into individual jars it’s a great breakfast to grab and go if you’re short of time in the morning!
  • I use rolled oats.
  • Lemon zest can be frozen, so the next time you’ve got a lemon that’s getting past its best, zest it onto a piece of baking paper, fold to secure, and put it in an airtight bag in the freezer.

Massaged Kale Salad

Massaged Kale Salad

It’s said that eating raw kale can make you feel as if your mouth is being assaulted by a giant tree. Avoid this by massaging the kale leaves, softening both the texture and the flavour of this sturdy vegetable, while retaining the nutrients. Even non-salad lovers / men tend to come back for seconds, after a suspicious first mouthful!

This is a basic recipe, but very versatile, so try changing it up with some of the variations at the end. It’s great as a side dish for BBQd and grilled meats. And because kale can hold its own, it doesn’t wilt in warm weather like lettuce can, and it keeps well in the fridge for a couple of days.

For 4 people you will need: about 6 kale leaves, fresh Australian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), sea salt, a mango, 100gm (Tasmanian) feta cheese, ground black pepper.

METHOD

  • Wash the kale well.
  • Remove the central ribs and roughly slice the leaves.

  • Place the sliced leaves in a large bowl with 3 tbsp EVOO and a pinch of sea salt.
  • Massage the kale with your fingers for about 3 minutes, until it “wilts”, becoming softer and bright green in colour.
  • Add the chopped flesh of the mango and the feta cheese.
  • Mix to combine with another 3 tbsp of EVOO, and salt and pepper to taste, then rest for at least 30 minutes in the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle.

And finally, if your bunch of kale has gone a bit wilty, treat it like a bunch of flowers. Chop a bit off the bottom of the stems and stand in some water. I keep mine standing in a glass of water in the fridge and it’ll last for a week 🙂 FFx