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
Cannellini Bean Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

Cannellini Bean Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

 

Cannellini Bean Dip with Rosemary and Roasted Garlic

FarmerFi
Cannellini beans are a medium sized white bean with a slightly nutty flavour and a beautiful creamy texture. The rosemary and lemon add astringent notes, which are tempered by the richness of roasted garlic. This dip is lovely dressed with lemon olive oil, if you like an additional zesty tang! It’s a great hummus replacement in a veggie wrap, or spread on fancy crackers for an easy snack.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins
Course Appetizer, Snack
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 people

Ingredients
  

  • 1 bulb garlic
  • 5 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 x 400g can of cannellini beans
  • 2 teaspoons minced rosemary
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • For serving – crackers, bruschetta, crudités, Sauvignon Blanc. (optional)

Instructions
 

  • Turn the oven on at 200degC.
  • Slice the top off the garlic to expose the cloves, place on a piece of tin foil and drizzle with 2 tbsp or so of EVOO.
  • Wrap and seal the garlic in the tin foil, place on a baking sheet or dish and bake for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  • Drain and rinse the can of beans, reserving the liquid from the can in case you want to loosen the texture of the dip at the end.
  • Combine 4 cloves of your roasted garlic with the beans, rosemary, lemon juice, and 3 tbsp EVOO in a food processor or blender, and blend until it’s the desired texture.
  • Add salt to taste.
  • Serve drizzled with fresh EVOO.
Keyword dip

Slow Baked Red Cabbage with Apple

Slow Baked Red Cabbage with Apple

 

Slow Baked Red Cabbage with Apple

FarmerFi

This is a classic combination of red cabbage and apple, slowly cooked until it melts in the mouth. It’s a perfect accompaniment to pork in particular, whether that’s a roast, pork chops, or simply a few pork sausages cooked on the BBQ. I’ve made this much more frequently since being told by a friend that it freezes incredibly well – it’s not really worth making in small quantities due to the long cooking time.
Prep Time 40 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine European
Servings 6

Ingredients
  

  • 1 large red cabbage finely sliced
  • 1 large onion halved and sliced
  • 2 eating apples cored and roughly chopped
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • ½ tsp nutmeg grated or ground
  • 3 tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions
 

  • Preheat the oven to 150°C (300 °F).
  • Mix the cabbage, onion, apples, red wine, sugar, red wine vinegar and spices in a large casserole dish.
  • Drizzle the olive oil over the top and cover.
  • If the casserole dish is flameproof (and you have time), bring to the boil on the stovetop. This will slightly reduce the oven cooking time.
  • Place the casserole dish into the oven and leave to cook for 3 – 3 ½ hours, stirring every 45 minutes or so if possible.
  • The cabbage is cooked when it’s tender and melting, and most of the liquid has been absorbed… At this point add seasoning as needed.
  • Either enjoy immediately, or refrigerate or freeze and reheat later.

Notes

The red wine can be substituted by port, or orange juice. The flavor can be varied too by using different combinations of spices such as coriander, cumin, and allspice. I find a casserole dish of about 4L capacity will take the volume here, although it depends a little on the size of the cabbage! In the days when I didn’t have a casserole dish this size, I split the recipe in two, and squeezed both in the oven. The volume reduces significantly during cooking.

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I’ve been trying lots of sweet and savoury recipes for apples recently, as our apple tree is laden this year. My current favourite cake is this egg and dairy free Apple Sauce Olive Oil Cake, made using homemade slow cooker apple sauce, although bought would work just fine too. Check out your local markets if you can for some great deals on apples while they’re in season, and enjoy tasting some different varieties!

And if you need fresh Tasmanian Extra Virgin Olive Oil (EVOO), then you can buy from our online shop here and have it delivered by Express Post within Australia. Or you may be one of the lucky people living near Hobart, and able to get to Farm Gate Market at Bathurst St on Sundays – which is where I’ll be roughly fortnightly from this weekend between 8.30am and 1pm. Come along and say hello, while eating your way around the best food Tassie has to offer.