About this recipe:The bright, fresh flavours of asparagus and lemon dominate this creamy rice dish. Try not to rush this rice, it's well worth waiting for! I like to serve this as a main dish under some steamed halibut or pan-fried scallops.
20 fresh asparagus spears, trimmed
950ml lower salt chicken salt
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 celery stick, diced
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
230g arborio or risotto rice
120ml dry white wine
20g freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
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Method Prep:15min › Cook:45min › Ready in:1hr
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Bring water to the boil. Add asparagus, cover and steam until tender, about 5 minutes. Cut asparagus into 2.5cm pieces; set aside.
Heat chicken stock in a saucepan over medium heat; keep at a simmer while preparing risotto.
Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Cook and stir onion and celery until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and black pepper. Stir in garlic and arborio rice; cook and stir until rice is lightly toasted, about 5 more minutes.
Pour white wine into rice mixture, stirring constantly, until liquid is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Stir chicken stock into rice, one ladleful at a time, allowing liquid to absorb completely before adding more while stirring constantly, about 20 minutes. Add asparagus and stir.
Remove from heat and mix in Parmesan cheese, lemon juice and lemon zest. Serve immediately.
You can also roast asparagus by placing stalks, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, pinch of salt and pepper on a baking tray and roasting them in the oven at 180 C for 15 minutes.