Asparagus Risotto

Serves 4.

Note: From “Gatherings,” by Flora Shedden.

• 2 tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for drizzling

• Small bit of butter

• 2 shallots, finely chopped

• About 9 oz. risotto or Arborio rice

• 1/2 c. white wine

• 2 garlic cloves, minced

• 2 1/2 c. chicken or vegetable stock

• About 10 oz. asparagus, woody ends snapped off, diagonally sliced into 1/2-in. lengths

• 1 oz. Parmesan cheese, grated

• Small bunch of fresh mint, leaves picked and finely chopped

• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In large frying pan, heat oil and butter over high heat. Add shallots and rice, and fry for 5 minutes until shallots are cooked and rice is just beginning to color. Pour in wine, add garlic, reduce heat to medium and allow to cook for 2 to 3 minutes.

Now you simply have to feed the risotto a ladleful of stock at a time. Stir in a ladleful when the previous one has been almost completely absorbed (it is this process that results in a creamy risotto). When you’ve added three-quarters of the stock, add the asparagus and stir it through.

Continue with remaining stock. Once you’ve added all the stock (which should take about 25 minutes) and the risotto is cooked, take the pan off the heat. Add the Parmesan and mint, and beat the risotto to ensure they are well mixed in. Season to taste, then serve.