Plumpton Asparagus, Pea & Mint Risotto

StarterServes 4

# Peel the asparagus spears if they are thick but if they are thin just crack them where they break by bending the stalk and discard the woody base (by bending the spear it will break naturally at its most tender spot). # Blanch in boiling salted water (by plunging the asparagus into the water for a few minutes) then remove and refresh under cold water and leave to one side ready to sauté in a pan for service. # Fry the shallots and garlic in the olive oil in a tall sided pan. # Next add the washed and drained Arborio rice and using a wooden spoon stir in the pan and add the white wine gradually. # Allow the rice to absorb the wine and keep stirring. Next add a ladle of vegetable stock and keep adding ladles of the stock and stir (No one said it was easy!). # The best risottos are stirred like crazy at the start and once the rice starts to soften you hardly stir at all. # Next blend the frozen peas with some boiling salted water and the washed leaves of the fresh mint to form a soup like paste (you will not need a lot of water for this, continue to add the required amount of water until a paste is formed). # Pour into the softened rice until it is a vibrant green but still risotto like consistency. Add the parmesan cheese and correct the seasoning with salt and pepper. # Place the hot risotto in the centre of the plate and add the hot spears of asparagus on the top. # Serve with some parmesan shavings around the plate and a drizzle of good quality olive oil around the plate.


* 2 bunches Plumpton asparagus
* 400g Arborio risotto rice
* 1 large glass white wine
* 2 pts vegetable stock
* 200g grated parmesan cheese
* 4 sprigs of garden mint
* 100g fresh peas
* 1 small bag frozen peas (approx 500g)
* 3 cloves of peeled crushed garlic
* 4 shallots peeled and chopped
* Olive oil to fry
* Boiling salted water