Asparagus and Goat Curd Risotto
This recipe is from Roberta Muir of Food Wine Travel who says, “I love asparagus - one of the first signs of spring - because (as well as being delicious) it’s so easy to prepare. And I love combining it with two of my other favourite foods, rice and goats cheese, in this simple risotto.”
- 1 bunch asparagus (about 200g), woody ends removed
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup finely chopped golden shallots
- Salt flakes and freshly ground white pepper to taste
- 1.5 litres water
- 300g vialone nano rice (see Tip)
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 50g salted butter, chopped
- 1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped chives
- 100g fresh goat cheese (see Tip)
- Finely slice the asparagus stalks and halve the tips. Set them aside separately.
- Heat the oil in a large high-sided frying pan over low-medium heat and add the shallots and a good pinch of salt. Cover and cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured.
- Meanwhile, bring the water to the boil in a small saucepan, cover and keep hot over the lowest possible heat.
- Add the rice to the shallots, increase heat to high and stir for a couple of minutes until the grains are hot and well coated in the oil. Add the wine and cook for a minute or so without stirring, just shaking the pan to combine, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Reduce the heat to medium, add enough stock to just cover the rice and cook for 8 minutes, without stirring, adding more stock as it starts to be absorbed and shaking the pan to combine. After 8 minutes, add the chopped asparagus stalks, increase the heat to medium-high and start gently stirring, adding more water a ladleful at a time as each lot is absorbed. Stirring constantly, cook for a further 8-10 minutes, until rice is tender but still has some bite (al dente).
- Add another ladle of water and then remove from the heat. Add butter, parmesan, salt and pepper and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until all the butter and cheese is incorporated, adding a little more water if necessary to keep it moist and soupy.
- Gently stir through the asparagus tips and shake the pan for another minute. Cover and set aside for 1 minute. Stir through chives, taste and add more salt if needed. Spoon onto warmed flat plates, tapping them on a tea towel-covered bench to spread the risotto out.
- Top with splodges of goat cheese and serve immediately.
- Roberta uses Meredith Dairy fresh goat curd in this recipe because she loves its fresh acidic tang.
- Two of Roberta’s favourite wine and food matches are sauvignon blanc with asparagus or goats cheese, and her favourite Aussie region for sauv blanc is the cool Adelaide Hills … so she particularly enjoys a glass of O’Leary Walker The Lucky Punter sauvignon blanc with this risotto.
- Risotto comes from northern Italy, but there are regional variations and Roberta’s preference is for the Venetian style, which is made with vialone nano rice and is soupier than the thicker Milanese version made with carnaroli. Final tip, all the Italian chefs she knows use either carnaroli or vialone nano rice, rather than the more commonly available arborio.
Recipe courtesy of Roberta Muir of Food-Wine-Travel www.food-wine-travel.com/recipes