40g unsalted butter
1 red onion, finely chopped
200g risotto rice
100ml white wine
1 ltr chicken stock. hot
300g asparagus, cut into short lengths
300g peas, fresh popped or frozen is fine
20g mint, chopped
20g parsley, chopped
20g basil, chopped
20g oregano, chopped
1 lemon, zested and sliced finely
25g parmesan, freshly grated
In a heavy-based pan, melt half the butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and fry gently for 5-10 minutes, or until it is soft and sweet but not coloured. Add the rice and stir well to coat the rice in the butter.
Pour in the wine so that it sizzles and allow it to bubble for a couple of minutes, stirring until the liquid is almost absorbed. Add a ladleful of stock, stirring occasionally until it is almost all gone before you add the next one. After the first couple of ladles, add the asparagus and season well.
Keep adding stock a ladleful at a time, and keep stirring. After 10 minutes or so, once the asparagus starts to become tender, add the peas. After 15-20 minutes, depending on the heat and the size of your pot, the risotto will look creamy but the rice will still have a little bite, without feeling chalky inside. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t added all the stock, but it’s important the rice has the right creamy consistency, so taste it and look at it and add more stock if you think it needs it.
Turn off the heat and add the herbs and lemon zest, the rest of the butter and parmesan and stir well. Check the seasoning, then leave it to sit for a minute to settle before serving.