Pea and Asparagus Saffron Risotto from Vegetarian Cooking: A Common Sense Guide by Bay Books
Cooked on: May 26, 2011
Servings: 4 (according to the book – this recipe lasted a week for me)
Cost: Inexpensive – I already had saffron on hand, so this was super in expensive.
Skill level: Beginner. Be sure to follow instructions.
450 g (1 lb) fresh peas in the pod, or
235 g (8 1/2 oz/1 1/2 cups) frozen peas (I used frozen)
175 g (6 oz/1 bunch) asparagus, trimmed and cut into 3 cm (1 1/4 inch) lengths
a pinch of saffron threads
1.5 litres (52 fl oz/6 cups) vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
440 g (15 1/2 oz/2 cups) risotto rice
30 g (1 oz/heaped 1/4 cup)finely grated Parmesan cheese
1. Shell the peas into a heat-proof bowl and add the asparagus. Cover with boiling water and leave to stand for 3 minutes. Drain and set aside until needed.
2. Pour 60 ml (2 fl oz/1/4 cup) boiling water into a small bowl. Add the saffron and leave to infuse.
3. Pour the stock into a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and keep at a gentle simmer.
4. Het the olive oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan. Sauté the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes, until soft. Add the rice and stir until translucent.
5. Add 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) hot stock, stirring constantly over medium heat until the liquid is absorbed. Continue adding more stock, 125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) at a time, stirring constantly for 20 – 25 minutes, or until all the stock is absorbed and the rice is tender and creamy. Add the saffron water about halfway through, and stir in the peas and asparagus about 5 minutes before the rice is ready.
6. When the rice is tender, remove from the heat and stir in the parmesan. Serve sprinkled with freshly ground black pepper.
Final Verdict: Yummy, cheap, and fairly healthy. A great dish for vegetarians (or anyone who just wants a good dish) on a budget. If you can not afford the saffron, I would recommend adding in fresh basil.