20 min Asparagus & Pesto Risotto


This was my first attempt at making risotto without assistance from my wonderful rice cooker.  The recipe was one from Jamie Oliver‘s 20min meal iPhone app where the directions are so easy it’s ridiculous at how beautiful it tastes.  If you love risotto like I do, then try this one out! yuuuummmmm…..

RECIPE AND DIRECTIONS FROM JAMIE OLIVER’S 20 MINUTE MEALS iPHONE APPLICATION

Asparagus and Pesto Risotto (2 servings)

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 medium bunch – Asparagus
  • 2 heaped tsp – Pesto (home-made is best)
  • 1 sm – red onion
  • 1 stick – celery
  • 2 knobs – Butter
  • 150g – Arborio rice (Japanese rice also works well)
  • 400 ml – Vegetable stock
  • 25g – Parmesan Cheese
  • 100ml – white wine (use a nice one)
  • splash – olive oil
  • pinch – sea salt (I didn’t use any)
  • black pepper

DIRECTIONS

  1. Pre-heat your oven to the lowest setting & place your plates in the oven to warm
  2. Place a large saucepan on a low to medium heat.  Peel the onion & trim the celery stick then finely chop them
  3. Add 1 knob of butter to the hot pan with onion, celery, a splash of olive oil, and a splash of water.  Cook over a low heat for around 5 mins, stirring occasionally, until soft.  Meanwhile…
  4. Bring the stock to the boil in a medium saucepan, then turn the heat down to low.
  5. Snap the woody bases off the asparagus and add them to the saucepan of stock.  Slice the remaining tender stalks up to the tip then leave the tip whole.  Put to one side.
  6. Finely grate the Parmesan.
  7. Once your vegetables are very soft (but not browned) add the rice to the pan.
  8. Stir & fry the rice for a minute until translucent, then add the wine and keep stirring until all the wine has absorbed by the rice.
  9. Turn the heat under the rice up to medium then add a ladle full of hot stock, avoiding the asparagus stalks – these are there to add flavour but not to be eaten!
  10. Stir constantly and continue adding stock, a ladle at a time, waiting for the rice to soak it all up before adding the next ladle full.  Continue until you’ve used tow-thirds of the stock.
  11. Once two-thirds of your stock has been added, stir the sliced asparagus and tips to the rice.
  12. Keep adding the stock until the rice if just cooked and the risotto has a nice oozy consistency.  If you run out of stock, use boiling water.
  13. Take the pan of risotto off the heat and stir in your teaspoon of pesto and half the parmesan.  Cut your lemon in half then squeeze in a little juice.
  14. Taste the risotto and season with salt and pepper (if you need it).  Cover the pan with a lid.
  15. Divide the risotto between the two warmed plates.  Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and top each with a dollop of pesto. DONE!

Yummy Sake Risotto with Tofu



[oops I ate it before taking the picture :)]

This recipe is one I have adapted from one I found on the Internet. It was the first time I had attempted a risotto and it turned out a dream. I reckon you really can’t go wrong with this one. Super healthy and super yummy and will work for either an appetiser or a main dish. (This dish also tastes great day 2, just heat up in a pan for 3 – 4 mins… mmmm… yum)


Serves 6
INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves – garlic chopped
  • 1/2 – onion sliced and diced
  • 1/4 cup – sweet sake/ white wine
  • 2 cups – rice (short grain/risotto rice)washed
  • 3 cups – vegetables – cut into small cubes
  • [I used asparagus, mixed peppers, tomatoes]
  • 6 cups – stock (vegetable stock or medium miso paste)
  • 1 cup – spinach/water cress/mixed fresh herbs
  • 1 tub – firm tofu drained and diced
  • sprinkle – cracked salt and pepper


HOW TO:
  1. Finally spoon the mixture into medium/small bowls then top with the diced tofu. sprinkle a little salt and pepper to taste.
  2. Stir through the spinach/watercress/mixed fresh herbs and allow to wilt.
  3. This should still be a little soupy in texture. If you like your risottos that little aldente, just stop the cooking process a little earlier.
  4. Check the mixture after 10mins cooking and stir, close the lid and allow to cook until setting has timed out.
  5. Add the stock. Mix the contents together, close the lid of the rice cooker then set the cooker to porridge setting (if you don’t have this setting set it to regular cook and check back every 10 mins to check the consistency and stir the contents through.
  6. Before adding the stock mix through all of the vegetables except for the spinach/water cress/fresh herbs. Allow the vegetables to saute mixing frequently. Vegetables such as asparagus need a little longer to cook than other vegetables therefore spend a little time here to allow them to soften a little.
  7. Add the rice and mix through, allowing all the rice to be coated in the onions and sake mixture. The rice should become a little translucent around the edges with white in the center before adding the stock. 4 -5 mins
  8. Add the 1/4 cup of sake/wine and heat up until some of the alcohol has evaporated. This should take 2 mins.
  9. Add the onion and cook until it becomes translucent then mix in the garlic. This should take around 4-5 mins.
  10. Switch on the rice cooker to the regular rice cooking setting or ‘quick cook’ if you have that setting. Wait 3 mins for it to heat up.
  11. pour in the olive oil and wait for it to heat up. Spread the oil with a wooden spoon or silicone spatula covering the bottom of the pan.

Take 2

I decided to make this meal a second time (see photo above) because it was such a success the first time. I followed the same instructions as before, however for my vegetables this time I used asparagus, mushrooms and cherry tomatoes. Then just before the dish was cooked through I mixed in a tub of pureed silken tofu (an amazing healthy substitute for cream, low in fat and full of goodness) chopped spring onions and avocado, keeping some avocado aside for garnish.
to add a little extra colour and taste I garnished with pickled ginger. The end result was a creamy mushroom and avocado risotto which tasted naughty, but minus the guilt. Truly scrumptious!! 🙂
The textures and flavours worked so well together I could possibly say this is my number one risotto!! Try it! I promise you, it won’t fail!!