Spring has given London a miss this year. Never mind that we are already well into April, it was still snowing yesterday and you can go nowhere without heavy coats and full winter gear. Thankfully, the no spring memo didn't reach the farms and the spring vegetables have been out in time. Last week's trip to farmer's market yielded asparagus and purple sprouting broccoli, both of which go into this risotto.
If you've dealt with mushy vegetables in your risottos in the past, this recipe also tell you how to get that creamy rice without overcooking the greens. And as a bonus, there is no butter or cream anywhere so pay attention.
For half a cup of rice (which I found is enough for two servings at least), cut 4-5 stalks of asparagus in 1-inch pieces. Cut broccoli into small florets and also, if you are using the sprouting version, add leaves to the mix. Now put 1 1/2 cups of stock to heat in a saucepan. If you don't have stock, plain water will do. No really, this recipe is fine with plain water. Once the water/stock comes to a boil, drop the asparagus in. Let in cook for 3-4 minutes until it's a bit softer but still crunchy. Take the stock off heat, sieve out the asparagus and put the stock back on a simmer.
In another pan, heat a tsp of olive oil. Add broccoli and stir fry on a high heat for 2-3 minutes. Remove the broccoli and add another tsp of olive oil to the pan. Add 2 cloves of minced garlic and stir fry until it starts to brown. Now add the rice and stir it around until most grains are coated in oil. Add 1/3 cup of white wine. Once the white wine is almost absorbed in the rice, start adding the stock, 1/3 cup at a time. A good rule of thumb is to add more stock when grains of rice start popping on the surface. Keep checking after 8-10 minutes, you want the rice to be cooked through but still retain a bit. When you add the last round of stock, check for salt and add some if you need it. You will certainly need it if you used water but most stocks are quite salty anyway.
When the rice is done, stir in asparagus and broccoli. Serve with a sprinkling of parmesan cheese and fresh ground black pepper.