Brr! Spring is here but there are still some pretty chilly spells. Who got that day of blazing sunshine interspersed with freezing hail storms the other day? These erratic-weather days call for a steaming bowl of comforting risotto.
You can’t go wrong with risottos, they are the best way to celebrate and capture the essence of a season. Oozy, umami-rich mushroom risotto is perfect in Autumn, but in Spring I want verdant green colours and bright herby flavours! So here’s my latest creation, an asparagus, courgette and cherry tomato risotto with pesto stirred through just before serving. Light and bright enough to shout ‘Spring!’ But cosy and comforting enough to make you forget about being caught in that hail storm earlier.
Add the ingredients to your next order from Green Earth Organics here. We deliver to every address in Ireland. Liz x
Ingredients (serves 4)
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 courgette
- 3 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 mug of risotto rice
- 1 stock cube
- 1 bundle of asparagus
- 1 lemon (zest and juice)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 heaped tbsp pesto
- toasted nuts/seeds to serve
Dice the celery and courgette and soften in a large pot with the olive oil over a medium-high heat. (You could also add diced onions and garlic for extra flavour).
Halve the cherry tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the mug of rice and stir well.
Snap the woody ends off the asparagus and pop them in the compost bin or in a freezer box to make stock with another time. Then slice off the asparagus tips (a couple of inches from each spear) and put to one side to use at the end. The middle part of the asparagus spears can be sliced into slim rounds and added to the pot now.
Crumble in the stock cube and add a mug of water to the pot. Stir and simmer until the water has been absorbed by the rice.
Add the zest and juice of the lemon and another mug of water. Stir and simmer agin until the liquid has been absorbed. Then add more water, half a mug at a time, until the rice is cooked through but still retains a little bite.
Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed. Then add the asparagus tips and simmer for just 3 minutes or so until they are just cooked through, bright green and still crunchy.
Just before serving, stir through the nutritional yeast and pesto to add brightness, herby flavour and cheesy richness to the dish.
Serve in warm bowl with toasted nuts/seeds scattered over each bowl. Enjoy under a cosy blanket on the sofa watching your favourite film!