Main Meals

Asparagus risotto with crescenza cheese

3 to 4
15 minutes
30 minutes
Wine/Spirit Pairing
Woolworths True to Terroir Lonely Blue Gum Sauvignon Blanc 2011

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  • 350–400 g slim asparagus spears
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • Thyme, a few sprigs
  • 30 g butter
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 cup risotto
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 150 g Ayrshire crescenza cheese, at room temperature, thinly sliced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Wild rocket, to garnish

Wash, then trim the asparagus, reserving the offcuts. Place the stock in a saucepan and bring to a simmer. Add the asparagus spears. Simmer for 2 minutes, or until tender-crisp. Set aside. Add the asparagus offcuts and thyme to the stock.

In a large pan, heat 1 T butter and the oil. Add the onion and gently cook until soft but still pale. Add the remaining butter and garlic.

Stir in the risotto until well coated and glossy. Pour in the wine and cook, stirring, until evaporated. Strain ladles of stock into the pan, reserving the last cup. Cook until absorbed. Continue stirring – it should take about 20 minutes – until the risotto is swollen and creamy and just tender.

Lay the asparagus on top. Pour over the last ladleful of stock. Add the cheese. Cover and leave on a low heat for about 5 minutes, until the asparagus is heated through and the cheese melts. Check seasoning. Garnish with rocket.

Phillippa Cheifitz

Recipe by: Phillippa Cheifitz

Regular TASTE contributor Phillippa is a well-known South African author and food writer, and has won many awards, both for her magazine features and her cookbooks.

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