Asparagus and whistling green pea risotto.

The original was printed (yes, we even have a local printshop – Hanway) and distributed in the shops in April 2014. You can download it here: Asparagus and whistling green pea risotto Or if you can’t be bothered to download it, it’s here:

The Market Garden now has English asparagus, and peas in the pod. I bought peas last week to make this recipe but ate them all raw before I got round to it. My grandmother used to make us whistle while we were shelling peas, so I did that … and, finally, here you are.


1 large onion

4 sticks of celery

4 garlic cloves

1 litre of hot stock (I like to use veggie stock, but you can use chicken) – keep this by the stove in a jug, or in a pan on a low heat.

I bunch of asparagus. Trim off and discard the very woody bit at the thick end – about 1 cm is enough. Cut the asparagus stalks in half.

2 big handfuls of peas in the pod – shell the peas while whistling. Don’t stop whistling until you have added them to the risotto

400 g risotto rice

a glass of white wine

100 g grana padano or parmesan cheese. Grana padano is less salty and a little creamier. You can get these in James Elliott.

A knob of butter.

salt and pepper

What to do. …roughly speaking:

Chop the onion, celery, garlic and the thicker halves of the asparagus very finely.

Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan until smoking, and add the chopped veg. Stir it all around quickly for a few seconds and then turn down the heat, put a lid on the pan and sweat the veg for about 5 minutes. Take off the lid, turn up the heat a bit and add the rice. Keep stirring. Add the wine. Keep stirring. When the rice has absorbed the wine, start to add the stock – a little (about 100 ml) at a time. Wait until the rice has absorbed the liquid before you add any more. Taste the rice from time to time to see how you’re doing. When the rice is almost cooked (after about 20 minutes), cut the tender ends of the asparagus in half and add these and the raw green peas. Keep cooking until the rice is cooked (when it’s no longer gritty in the middle, its done). You may not need all the stock. Or you may need a little more.. The asparagus tips and peas should still be slightly crunchy. Turn off the heat and add the butter and most of the grated cheese – mix it all around thoroughly. Taste it and add salt and pepper if you like.

Serve immediately with a crunchy green salad.


One thought on “Asparagus and whistling green pea risotto.

  1. Thanks to Buz for asking “what is a knob”? The polite answer is as follows: Jamie Oliver has had problems with US publishers over this, so I’m in good company. He says “In my experience, a knob of butter is a couple tablespoons, more or less.”


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