Things to do with Asparagus: Risotto

When it comes to Asparagus, the first thing I think about is its crunchiness. And then that wacky asparagus pee smell. If you’re one of the people loving asparagus as much as I do, you know what I’m talking about. Then again, you might be one of the few that can’t actually smell the asparagusic acid, which is the culprit of the funny, unique asparagus pee smell. 
 
I don’t mind that at all, but it helps if everyone in the house eats asparagus at the same time  
 
So, you may wonder what can I do with asparagus, right?

 
There are loads of things to do with asparagus, from snacking on it raw – like I did a when we visited Sardinia and it was my favourite snack – to making the classic asparagus risotto, use it in a soup, chop it or shave it in a salad or steam/grill, although you should do it for maximum 3 minutes to preserve its nutritional benefits.
 
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It’s even been ranked as one of the top 20 Aggregate Nutrient Density Index (ANDI). To get to that, a food must have a high amount of nutrients for a lower amount of calories.
 
Asparagus is one of the best natural sources of folate. Adequate folate intake is extremely important during periods of rapid growth such as pregnancy, infancy, and adolescence. It’s also rich in Vitamin K, which plays an important role in blood clotting, but is essential to building strong bones and preventing heart disease. 
 
Don’t need to get too geeky about it, as you’ll know from the beginning whether you love it or hate it. The most important thing is to eat it while it’s in season, which in the UK is the end of April till June, so stock up on it now and use it in everything! 
 
So far, the best-tasting one I’ve found was at the Farmer’s Market in Blackheath from The Groombridge Farm Shop in Kent.
 
asparagus-in-kent-farmers-market-blackheath
 
It doesn’t get fresher unless you pick it yourself.
 
Do yourself a favour, check out a Farmer’s Market and have some local asparagus while you can now as you may want to avoid the imported ones that travel across the ocean to get here and contribute to deforestation in Peru or Mexico. 
 
Shall we get to the recipes now? 
 
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Oh Risotto! What a simple meal, what a delightful flavour.

Risotto is a very special meal for me and Ollie as it was the food he’s ever tried from me the day we met.

I was catering an event and prepped a raw risotto (which is on the back cover of my cookbook now) and he totally fell in love with it. You know what they say, the way to a man’s heart is truly through his stomach :)

So, after just spending some days in the beautiful Sardinia, Italy, I got inspired to finally make a risotto the classic way, minus the cream and cheese and keep it simple. The results were amazing! Take a look and let me know if you make it. Plus you get a double recipe today because I’ve done my stock from scratch and ended up with an amazing soup from it! 

 MUSHROOM & ASPARAGUS RISOTTO WITH NUTMIGGIANO 

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 red onion 

  • 1/2 broccoli 

  • 1 cauliflower floret 

  • 1 handful asparagus

  • 3 mushrooms

  • 2 cups arborio rice

  • 1/2 cup white wine* optional if you don’t want to use it 

  • 1.5l veggie stock (**See recipe below on how to make it from scratch) 

  • Olive oil

  • Salt 

  • Fresh oregano 

HOW TO

1. Saute the mushrooms and onion in 1 tablespoon of stock**.
2. Add the chopped broccoli, asparagus stalks (keep the tips for finishing) and cauliflower and stir.
3. Add the rice and give it a stir.
4. Add the wine and stir.
5. Add 1 cup of stock. Allow it to be absorbed. Stir again :) 
6. Repeat until you’re out of stock and the rice is al dente. Before finishing add the chopped asparagus tips. 

A risotto is still cooking even after you turned the heat off, even when it’s on your plate. Make sure there’s plenty of stock as it could end up dry if not. 

Allow it to sit for a few minutes. Season with salt, olive oil and fresh oregano and serve with Nutmigiano. It’s yum!

Nutmigiano 

50g cashew nuts
50g Brazil nuts
1 pinch salt 
1 tsp nutritional yeast 
1 pinch smoked paprika 

Dry grind the nuts in the blender or grinder and add the spices to it. Sprinkle on your food and keep in an airtight jar. 

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RISOTTO STOCK**

and JERUSALEM ARTICHOKES + ASPARAGUS SOUP

This recipe makes the stock for the risotto and it’s a delicious starter or main with rice crackers – I had this one with the last pieces of Pane carasau – a traditional flatbread from Sardinia and Nutmigiano*. 

 

INGREDIENTS

2 carrots 

1 white onion 

3 stalks celery 

1 Jerusalem artichoke 

1 bunch asparagus bottoms – The last 2 cm (use the tops for risotto) 

2 bay leaves 

6 parsley stalks

2L water 

Olive oil 

salt 

HOW TO

 

  1. Bring to boil the water and add all the ingredients in a pot. Cook with a lid for 35 minutes.

  2. Strain and use the liquid as stock for risotto.

  3. Blend the veggies on their own with a pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil.

  4. Serve with fresh herbs, crackers or fresh sourdough.

 

If you want more asparagus recipes let me know in the comments below, as I’m thriving off it these days! 

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Hi there! I’m Denisa, Health Coach and Raw Chef

As a Health Coach and Plant Based Chef my passion is helping busy people to live healthier, happier lives. Food is so much more than fuel. Food is an experience. It's passion, energy, memory, connection, and plays a big role in the healing of our minds and our bodies. On this website, you can find recipes and lifestyle tips and explore different ways of healing through food and I'll be there for you every step along the way, as your coach and mentor to guide you back to better health.
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