Recipe Phillippa Cheif itz

House and Leisure Food - - CONTENTS -

200–250g as­para­gus pieces about 5 cups hot home-made chicken or veg­etable stock 200–250g as­para­gus tips 3T un­salted but­ter 1 onion, chopped a pinch of salt 1 gar­lic clove, crushed 1½ cups risotto rice 1½ cups dry white wine about 100g Parme­san

cheese, in one piece milled black pep­per 2–3T cream chervil sprigs,

for gar­nish­ing

Serves 4–6 as a starter

Cook the the as­para­gus pieces in the stock for about 20 min­utes, then strain, re­serv­ing the stock and dis­card­ing the as­para­gus pieces. Bring the stock to a boil and drop in the as­para­gus tips. Cook for barely a minute, so that they are ten­der-crisp and bright green. Re­move from the stock and set aside.

Heat the but­ter in a large, wide, heavy saucepan and gen­tly fry the onion with a pinch of salt un­til soft but not browned. Add the gar­lic and rice, stir­ring con­stantly un­til the rice is well coated. Add the wine and stir un­til the rice has ab­sorbed the liq­uid. Pour in a few la­dles of hot as­para­gus stock and do the same. Re­peat, adding more stock, un­til the rice is ten­der and swollen, creamy (not soggy) and chewy (not gritty). Four cups of stock will prob­a­bly be enough, but there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to risotto.

Scrape chunks of cheese from half of the Parme­san and stir it in. Check the sea­son­ing. It may not need salt, but add a grind­ing of pep­per. Add the cream and blanched as­para­gus tips, cover with a tightly fit­ting lid and leave for a few min­utes, then serve im­me­di­ately. Sprin­kle shav­ings of the rest of the Parme­san on top and gar­nish with chervil sprigs.

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