This dish is surprisingly easy, it takes a little longer than your standard risotto recipe but it is sure to impress when you have friends over. I made a vegetarian risotto with asparagus, without wine. If you want to use wine, lean towards a white variety to not overpower the delicate flavours of the vegetables and use less stock.
Ingredients 1 bunch of asparagus, blanched and chopped in 1cm pieces
700ml vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
180g arborio rice
salt and pepper, to taste
35g grated Parmesan
2 large green peppers (or whatever peppers are in season), blanched
Preheat oven to 180°c.
Cut the top off the peppers, around 2cm from stalk. Remove and discard seeds and stalk but be careful that the 'lid' remains intact.
Bring a large pot of water to the boil (approx. 300ml water). Place the peppers and asparagus in the pot. Boil water, remove from heat and run peppers and asparagus under cold water to blanch. Reserve.
Chop blanched asparagus in 1cm pieces, discard stalks.
Heat 2 tbsp oil in a pot. Add chopped garlic and onion, fry for 2 minutes on medium heat until onions become translucent (do not brown).
Add arborio rice and coat in oil, for 1 minute. Add enough of the prepared stock to just cover the rice. Reserve around 100ml of stock. Spoon 1 tbsp of parmesan with each addition of stock, reserving approximately 10g for later.
Cook risotto for approximately 5 minutes and add asparagus. Keep adding stock, resist the temptation to pour too much liquid in at once. Add a little salt and pepper, adjusting to your preference.
Boil off the last of the stock, remove from heat.
Place peppers into a deep baking tray (I used a bread tray). Carefully ladle risotto into the peppers, top with the remaining Parmesan and place the 'lid' on top when peppers are filled. Pour remaining 100ml of stock in the tray, make sure you don't get the risotto wet.