If I didn’t convey just how much I loved Tal Ronnen’s cookbook in the previous post, his recipe for Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto should do the trick. I did modify his recipe slightly and instead of using Arborio rice, I used unbleached barley and I cut the quantities down considerably and it took AGES to make, but the end result was so amazingly perfect that it was totally worth the wait!
The recipe calls for Meyer lemons which you don’t seem to get here – so I simply used the mix of lemon and orange Tal Ronnen suggested and it worked out beautifully!
500g Asparagus – cleaned and chopped into 1 inch pieces
Freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 cup barley alternatively you can use 1 cup Arborio rice
1/2 cup plus a splash of dry white wine
6 cups vegetable stock (it seems like a lot but barley needs a lot in order for it to soften)
Grated zest of 1 large lemon and 1 clemantine
Juice of 1 large lemon and 1 clemantine
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
Fill a small pot with water. Add 1 teaspoon salt and bring to a boil. Blanch the asparagus in the boiling water for 1 minute, then chill in an ice bath, drain, and sprinkle with a pinch each of salt and pepper. Set aside.
Place a large saute pan with steep sides over medium heat. Sprinkle the bottom with a pinch of salt and heat for 1 minute. Add the oil and heat for 30 seconds, being careful not to let it smoke. This will create a nonstick effect.
Add the shallots and saute for 3 minutes. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
Add a pinch of salt and the rice and saute for 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Add the ½ cup wine and cook, stirring constantly, until it has been completely absorbed and evaporated. Add the stock, 1 cup at a time, cooking and stirring after each addition until all the liquid is absorbed.
As you cook the rice, season periodically with salt and pepper, tasting after each addition.
Fold in the citrus zest, the asparagus, and a splash of wine and continue cooking for 2 to 3 minutes, until the asparagus is heated through and the risotto is thick and creamy.
Remove from the heat and gently stir in the citrus juices. Adjust the seasoning as necessary.
Serve immediately with a few toasted pine nuts sprinkled on top.
This risotto turned out perfect, tart but not too tart, creamy without being heavy and I was left feeling completely satisfied.
The verdict: Definately making this again! And I would wholeheartedly recommend you give it a try!
NOTE: This is a modified version of Tal Ronnen’s Asparagus and Meyer Lemon Risotto – for the original recipe you will have to reference his book The Conscious Cook, as mentioned in my previous post.