This Asparagus Risotto will make you feel like you're in Italy at a lovely little restaurant. It's creamy, flavorful, and will impress vegans and non-vegans alike!
Asparagus Risotto [Vegan]
- 25 ounces green asparagus
- 7 ounces risotto rice
- 3.5 ounces almonds
- 1 small white onion
- 1 tablespoon vegetable bouillon powder
- 1 cup soy milk
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- salt & pepper
- Cut off the end of the asparagus and save it for the vegetable stock. Set aside 8 asparagus whole (without the end part). Cut off the top part of the remaining asparagus and set it aside. Cut the middle part of the remaining asparagus into small discs.
- In a large pot with about 4 litres (1 gallon) of water add 1 tbsp of vegetable bouillon and the ends of the asparagus. Bring to boil and keep this vegetable stock hot on slow boil throughout this recipe. Add a pinch or two of coarse sea salt.
- In a non stick pan, add a finely chopped white onion and a ladle of the vegetable stock. Let the onion cook for 1 minute, then add the asparagus discs and let them cook for about 5 to 6 minutes. Add some more vegetable stock if necessary and season with some sea salt.
- In a small pot with boiling water, blanch half of the almonds for exactly 60 seconds. The drain them under cold water and remove their skin. It should be very easy to do, just squeeze the almonds through your fingers and they should pop out of their skin.
- In a small blender, add the peeled almonds, soy milk, 2 tbsp of cooked asparagus discs, a pinch of salt and a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Blend very well until you have a very smooth cream.
- On a baking tray with some parchment paper or a silicon mat, season the tip of the asparagus with a crushed clove of garlic, olive oil, salt and a squeeze of lemon juice. On the same tray, but separate from the asparagus, season the second half of the almonds with olive oil and salt. Bake in the oven for 10 min at 180˚C (360˚F). Then crush the almonds into small pieces.
- In a large pan, add the risotto rice and start toasting the rice on medium heat for about 1 minute while stirring with a wooden spoon.
- Add a small quantity of hot vegetable stock to the rice (about 1.5 ladles) and stir. When the vegetable stock has evaporated, add some more, little by little. Keep stirring often. Repeat this for the next 10 minutes.
- In the meantime, take the 8 whole asparagus that you previously set aside, and with a potato peeler, start shaving them, creating thin slices of asparagus. Season this with some salt, olive oil, and a drizzle of lemon juice. Set aside. Don't forget to keep an eye on the risotto, you need to keep adding vegetable stock and keep stirring.
- After 10 minutes, add the asparagus discs to the rice, some extra vegetable stock, and keep stirring. Keep adding vegetable stock and stirring for about 5 more minutes, until the risotto is cooked al dente. It needs to have some bite.
- Turn off the heat and add the almond-asparagus cream into the risotto while stirring. Add some more vegetable stock if necessary. At this point taste and add some salt if necessary.
- Keep stirring until the cream is fully incorporated. Remember that the consistency of your risotto needs to be wavy, or as us Italian say, "all'onda". Not too think, not too watery, just like a wave.
- Serve risotto immediately on a flat plate. Let it set into the place without touching it. Then add the roasted asparagus tips on top. Sprinkle with some crushed roasted almonds. Top with a bush of asparagus shavings, and drizzle with some drops of extra virgin olive oil.