Pea, Asparagus & Ham Risotto

There is something about this recipe that is very ‘me’! For starters it has peas and asparagus - two things I am very fond of, then it is a risotto which is nice and creamy and cheese-y, and thirdly it is a wonderful green colour and I absolutely love green!

I frequently visit A Common Ground at Salamanca, it is close to my work and they sell the best eggs (oh and the best fudge too!) but also some amazing cheese from Bruny Island and meat products from Rare Foods. So this recipe brings together some of these great products. Plus it is the perfect dish for this time of year when peas and asparagus are everywhere.

Big thank you to Spanky for letting us take some pics in the shop. I recommend you go have a look!

For the risotto 1 leek finely sliced ½ a brown onion diced Knob of butter Olive oil Pinch sea salt and pepper 300g risotto rice (I used arborio but have read that carnaroli is better) 4 cups of vegetable stock ½ cup white wine Handful or so of freshly grated cheese (I used a mix of the fantastic Tom from Bruny Island Cheese Co and parmesan) Another knob of butter ½ cup of fresh shelled peas (or frozen if you can’t get them) Bunch of asparagus chopped into approximately 2cm lengths 2 slices of lightly pan cooked ham chopped for garnishing (I used some lovely Rare Foods smoked ham)

Pea puree 1 cup fresh shelled peas (again frozen is fine) Knob of butter Sea salt and pepper 1-2 shallots finely chopped 1-2 tablespoons of vegetable stock Clove of garlic crushed

To make the risotto, place your stock in pan on low heat and place a larger pan on medium-high heat with a lug of olive oil and knob of butter. Add the leek and onion, salt and pepper and cook until translucent. Add the rice and stir through cooking for a minute or so, then add the white wine. Allow this to cook down before adding a ladle full of stock and again cooking down. Continue this process until the rice is cooked through. I have found that you don’t need to continuously stir it just keep and eye on it and make sure it’s not catching on the bottom.

While the risotto is cooking make the pea puree. In a small pan melt some butter, add the shallots and garlic and cook until translucent add the peas and cook for a few minutes, then add some stock and salt and pepper and heat until peas are cooked but still holding their shape. Put the pea mix into a blender and puree until smooth but still with some pea texture.

With the risotto rice cooked turn the heat to low and add in the fresh peas and asparagus pieces and stir though along with another knob of butter and the cheese. Once the peas and asparagus are sufficiently cooked spoon in the pea puree and stir through. Garnish with the lightly pan cooked ham and some parsley, and maybe a little more cheese.

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