Wild garlic and asparagus risotto- perfect dish to celebrate new season and it's glorious, fresh produce! This easy dish will make great weekend lunch or weekday dinner! Full of flavour, simple ingredients and less than 30 minutes to cook!
Spring has sprung in the UK, and we are finally enjoying some warm, sunny weather again! This year, I've celebrated the first day of Spring by going on a wild garlic foraging date with my friend Lindsay!
Wild garlic and asparagus risotto- spring on the plate!
Today's recipe for this wild garlic and asparagus risotto is ideal to celebrate the arrival of Spring. It combines beautiful, fresh and seasonal ingredients: wild garlic and asparagus. You know winter is truly over, when these two start making appearances in local shops and farmers markets! The dish will make great weekday dinner or weekend lunch. It is creamy, yet light in texture and packed with delicious, fresh flavours.
What is wild garlic and where to find it?
Here are few basic facts about this versatile plant (info from Countryfile):
Wild garlic is a plant native to Britain (it can be found across Europe and Asia), it is also known as Bear leek or Bear's garlic. It can grow to heights between 45- 50 cm and has edible flowers and leaves. Leaves can be used to cook soups, sauces and pestos. They appear in March and are best picked when young. The flowers start to appear around April time, lasting until June. They add a garlicky punch to salads and sandwiches.
You can find wild garlic in the woodlands floors in Spring. You know you are on the right track, if there is distinctive, attractive, garlicky smell in the air. If you are planning on going on a foraging adventure, please make sure to do so responsibly. Learn how to identify the plant, and never eat anything you are unsure of. You can find more information about this fantastic plant on Countryfile website.
Wild garlic and asparagus risotto- ingredients
This dish requires only few, simple ingredients, most of which, you probably already have in your kitchen. If you can't find any wild garlic in your local woodlands, farmers market or local farm shops are a good places to look. Alternatively, you can use spinach instead of wild garlic, although this will alter the flavour of the whole dish.
So here's what you need to make some of this delicious, creamy wild garlic and asparagus risotto:
- risotto rice
- green asparagus
- wild garlic
- vegetable stock
- white wine
- vegan hard cheese (or vegetarian for non-vegans)
- olive oil
These are the basic ingredients. I have added some lemon zest and lemon juice to my recipe, but they are optional (although, I think they add a lovely zing and flavour).
How to make wild garlic and asparagus risotto?
Start with chopping the asparagus and wild garlic leaves. Leave some of the asparagus tips in tact to decorate the finished dish. Next, chop the shallots and garlic cloves. Now, there is a great debate about how the risotto should be cooked. Whether it should be cooked one ladle at the time, or with the whole vegetable stock going in at once. I'm not going to get into too much detail about it, but I always cook mine one ladle at the time. Patience is a virtue...
As for the next step, heat the olive oil and butter in a large pan, over a medium heat. Add chopped shallots and fry them for 3-4 minutes, until they start to soften. Next, add the chopped garlic cloves, and fry for another minute. Tip the risotto rice into the pan, give it a stir, then pour in the white wine and keep stirring until rice absorbs it all. After that, start adding the vegetable stock, one ladle at the time. Only add another ladle, once the previous one have been fully absorbed by the rice.
After about 10 minutes, add the asparagus and wild garlic, followed by more stock. You don't want to add the vegetables too soon, as they will get all mushy, therefore it's always best to add them towards the end of cooking. Add lemon juice and zest, plus grated cheese. Take the pan off the heat and cover it with lid. Allow it to stand for few minutes, giving the rice a chance to absorb any extra liquid. Divide into bowls and sprinkle with more grated cheese and enjoy!
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Have a great, sunny week ahead!
Wild garlic and asparagus risotto
- 2 medium shallots (finely chopped)
- 2 small garlic cloves (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp vegan butter
- 200 g risotto rice
- 100 ml white wine
- 500 ml vegetable stock
- 200 g green asparagus
- 70 g wild garlic
- ½ medium lemon (juice and zest)
- 50 g vegan hard cheese (grated)
- In a large pan, heat the olive oil and butter, then add chopped shallots and fry for 3-4 minutes until they begin to soften. Add chopped garlic and fry for another minute.
- Add the risotto rice to the pan and pour in the white wine. Stir it all together and allow the wine to bubble until it evaporates, stirring often. Leave it on medium heat, and keep pouring the vegetable stock, one ladle at the time, stirring frequently and only adding another ladle of stock when the rice absorbed all the liquid. After about 10 minutes, add the chopped asparagus and wild garlic.
- Add more stock and after another 5 minutes, when rice is just cooked but still has some bite to it, add the lemon juice and zest and grated cheese. Cover with lid, take off the heat and allow it to stand for few more minutes, so the rice can absorb any extra liquid.
- Give it a stir, divide into serving bowls. Sprinkle with some more grated vegan cheese and enjoy!
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