Risotto is one of those meals that I always thought was WAY top much hassle to start cookin’ up after getting back from work… until recently. Once I’d got this recipe down to a tee I realised I could have it on the table in about half an hour, it’s actually pretty damn quick to whip up, and absolutely delicious.
I was looking at recipes for vegetarian risottos but none of them excited me that much so I created my own with my favourite ingredients. The ricotta and smoked cheese add a little bit of creamy, cheesy indulgence to a green, veggie risotto. I used ricotta but this can be substituted for marscapone, sour cream, creme fraiche, or even cream cheese.
Smoky Leek and Asparagus Risotto – Serves 2
1 litre of vegetable stock
3 cloves of garlic
1 large leek
1 pack/bunch of asparagus (about 12-15 spears)
1 cup of risotto rice
1 tablespoon ricotta
60g of grated smoked applewood cheese
Tablespoon olive oil
Rind and juice of half a lemon (optional)
1) First off, heat a tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan as you chop up your onions and leeks.
2) Fry the onions and leeks until soft and starting to go clear.
3) In a separate saucepan bring 1 litre of stock to the boil and then turn down to simmer.
4) Add your minced garlic cloves and risotto rice to the pan with the leeks and onions. Cook until the very ends of the grains of risotto rice have turned clear.
5) Keeping the pan on the heat, add half a cup of stock and stir until it’s all been absorbed into the rice. Continue doing this half a cup of stock at a time.
6) When you only have a couple of half cups of stock left to add snap the ends off the asparagus spears and chop the asparagus into pieces about 1.5cm big. Add the asparagus to the pan with the penultimate half cup of stock. Add the final amount of stock and continue stirring until it’s absorbed. The risotto should be of a thick, creamy consistency.
7) Take the risotto off the heat. Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Stir in a large tablespoonful of ricotta. Add the juice and rind of half a lemon (optional)
8) Finally, stir through the grated Smoked Applewood cheese and serve.