April is the beginning of the British Asparagus season 

Enrico Gusella, our amazing head chef, would like to share his delicious Asparagus Risotto recipe with us, either using homegrown grown asparagus or from any of your local suppliers, many of which who are doing an amazing job doing local delivering during this unpredented time. Yester Farm Dairies is another of our amazing local suppliers who is doing local deliveries, whose cottage cheese is a must on the risotto!

Asparagus Risotto

Garden Peas, Cottage Cheese & Vanilla Sun blushed Tomatoes

Serves : 8 

Preparation & Cooking Time : 2 hours

Ingredients for the risotto

  • 600gr Carnaroli Rice
  • 2 banana shallots
  • 150ml of dry white wine
  • 20ml olive oil
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4lt of vegetable stock, simmering
  • 100gr Parmigiano Reggiano
  • 80gr butter, cold and diced
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 bunch of green asparagus, diced
  • 500ml of asparagus velouté

To make the asparagus velouté

  • 300ml of vegetable stock
  • 1 bunch of green asparagus tips only, blanched for 3 minutes then refreshed in iced water
  • 50gr spinach, pre-washed and blanched in salty water then refreshed in iced water
  • 20gr of olive oil
  • 20gr rice flour
  • salt

To serve

  • 250gr Cottage Cheese
  • 80gr of fresh Peas, blanched in salty water
  • 20gr roasted pinenuts
  • 1 handfull of pea shoots

To make the sun blushed tomato

  • 12 red and 12 yellow sun blushed tomato
  • 10gr icing sugar
  • 1 spring of fresh thyme, thinly chopped
  • 1 tbsp of vanilla essence
  • 1 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Preparation method

- Start with the sun-blushed tomato, slicing the cherry tomatoes in half lengthwise, spread them out in an even layer cut side-up on a parchment covered baking sheet, then season with salt, icing sugar, vanilla, extra virgin olive oil and thyme. Slow roast in the oven for 2 hours at 80C and once they are ready set aside on a small tray

- While the cherry tomatoes are cooking, prepare your asparagus velouté heating the oil in a medium pot and mixing the rice flour into a so called roux. Add the 300ml vegetable stock and let it simmer for 3 minutes seasoning with salt and pepper. Once the velouté base is cold, blitz all the ingredients in a liquidizer until smooth. Pass the velouté through a fine sieve and set aside to finish the risotto

- Place a pan over a medium heat and add oil. Once hot, add the shallots, and sweat to soften with no colour. Add the rice and toast for approximately 2 minutes until the grains start to become transluscent. Add the bay leaf, salt and the wine, reduce until almost dry

- Add half of the vegetable stock, bring to the boil and allow to reduce, without stirring, until the stock is just below the line of the rice

- Stir the risotto with a wooden spoon, at this point the starches will be released and you will notice the stock start to thicken. Add into the pot the asparagus velouté and the diced asparagus.

- Little by little, add the rest of the stock a ladle at a time, stirring constantly until the rice is al dente (cooked but with a bite)

- Off the heat, beat in half of the cottage cheese, parmigiano reggiano cheese and butter. Cover the pot with a lid and rest for three minutes in a warm place.

- Divide the risotto into 8 bowls and garnish with cottage cheese dollops, pea shoots, garden peas, pinenuts and the vanilla sun blushed tomato. 

"Villas at Renaissance - Exclusively East Lothian"