Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Risotto with asparagus and lard

10 minutes to prepare Serves 4




Daffodils are blooming, as are cherry trees, and the truest test of spring, asparagus in the supermarket can be found for less than 5 euro a bunch:
tender, grassy, and sweet, asparagus is THE marker of the triumphant arrival of spring.

These delicate spears are at their best when freshly picked, in-season, and as local as possible since transportation and time are hard on the vegetable.
The asparagus season is a short one so be sure to include the gems of springtime produce in your meals while you can!

I just couldn’t resist these few days ago, and cooked them up into a creamy risotto. This recipe is a classic asparagus recipe.
So simple and so delicious, it is a gotta-try first course dish. The perfect balance between tasty lard and fresh Spring flavors make this asparagus dish irresistible. It's a struggle not to eat the whole pan yourself!

Here's what you will need for the 4-serving recipe:

320 g Carnaroli rice 
1 shallot
150 g asparagus
1/2 glass Cointreau liquor
50 g lard cut into thin slices
1 l vegetable broth
40 g grated Parmesan cheese
40 g butter
1 sprig parsley
EVO oil
salt and pepper

  1. Rinse the asparagus under cool water to remove any grit. Snap off the bottom inch using your fingers; the stems will naturally break where the tough woody part ends and the tender stem begins
  2. Peel asparagus' tough outer skin
  3. Pour 1 l of water in a large pot and bring to boil. As soon as the water boils, dip asparagus in the pot, and go on with the cooking for about 5 minutes
  4. Meanwhile, pour 1 tablespoon of EVO oil in a pan, and add the lard, cut into small pieces. When the lard becomes transparent, add a finely chopped shallot with a pinch of salt and pan-fry for a couple of minutes
  5. Drain asparagus' and place them on a cutting board. Separate the stems from the tips, then chop the stems into thin slices while keeping the tips aside
  6. Pour the rice into the pan and let it toast for 1 minute. Simmer it with the Cointreau until it evaporates 
  7. Add the asparagus chopped stems to the rice and go on with the cooking, adding a spoonful of boiling broth at a time, as for a normal risotto, (please refer to the cooking time indicated on the rice package) 
  8. A few moments before the rice is done, add the asparagus' tips, and freshly ground pepper (be generous with it)
  9. Take off the heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese and butter. Serve hot with chopped parsley on top

In the following, Nutrition Facts of this dish are indicated. Data is provided per serving.

"Asparagus in a lean in a lean is to hot. This makes it art and it is wet weather wet weather wet."
(Gertrude Stein)

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