Cornish Asparagus Risotto with Peas and Wild Garlic Pesto
Cornish asparagus is up and out and I’m at the ready with my knife and fork and pan of boiling water. Not quite, but I couldn’t resist buying a bunch when I passed our local greengrocer yesterday. Apart from grilling them and eating them for breakfast with scrambled egg on toast, I thought a fresh and simple Cornish asparagus risotto with peas and wild garlic pesto would be just the thing.
Asparagus has a short season and it’s one I look forward to every year. Asparagus is at its best when eaten fresh, so the more local you can get it, the better. We’ve tried growing it in the past, but we’ve sadly not had much success. It’s a notoriously difficult crop to grow. It’s a bit too early for fresh peas, so I’ve used frozen ones, but you might get lucky later in the asparagus season.
The risotto turned out perfectly. I didn’t want to overpower the asparagus flavour, so I was cautious with my addition of pesto. You could just about get the flavour of wild garlic, but the asparagus was very much to the fore with the peas forming a nice back note. I have three recipes for wild garlic pesto, all delicious. Two are on the link I’ve just given and I also have a roasted hazelnut version. Take your pick.
The recipe for Cornish asparagus risotto is not quite vegan as I’ve used cheese to make my pesto. But substitute this with a dairy-free version and you have a delicious vegan dinner for two.
- 6-8 asparagus spears - depending on size
- 100 g fresh or frozen peas
- 500 ml water
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion - diced
- 175 g risotto rice
- 100 ml white wine
- 1 heaped tsp wild garlic pesto (or pesto of your choice)
- Snap of the woody ends of the asparagus, cut in half and set aside.
- Slice the asparagus spears into 2 cm pieces, keeping the tips to one side.
- Bring the water to the boil.
- Add the salt and asparagus pieces. Cover and simmer for a couple of minutes. Add the asparagus tips and peas and simmer for a further 2 minutes or until just tender.
- Drain, reserving the water.
- Place the water back in the pan and add the halved asparagus ends. Simmer until stock is needed.
- Heat the oil in a large pan and add the onion. Fry over a gently heat until translucent. Add the rice and stir to coat.
- Add the wine, followed by a ladle of the asparagus stock and stir. As soon as the liquid has been absorbed, add another one. Repeat until all of the stock has been used up.
- Add the pesto and asparagus pea mixture, clamp on a lid and allow to steam for a minute or two.
- Stir and serve.
Use a vegan pesto to make this a totally vegan dish.
I’m sending my Cornish asparagus risotto with peas and wild garlic pesto to Meat Free Mondays over at Tinned Tomatoes.
This fresh spring risotto also goes to Feeding Boys for Simple and in Season.
And finally #CookBlogShare which is hosted this week at Everyday Healthy Recipes.
Other asparagus recipes you might like
- Asparagoose tarts via Tin and Thyme
- Asparagus bhajias via Binny’s Kitchen
- Asparagus & Swiss chard soup via Planet Veggie
- Chard, asparagus and mint tart via Rough Measures
- Mushroom, pesto & asparagus pizza via Family, Friends Food
- Quinoa, watercress, walnut and blue cheese salad with roasted asparagus via Tin and Thyme
- Roasted asparagus with preserved lemon via Cocina Celestina
- Salad of asparagus with quail eggs and fennel pollen via London Unattached
- Squash & asparagus hash with poached duck egg via Celery & Cupcakes