Carb loading can get a little dreary if you’re not careful. Pasta, then maybe some more pasta, anyone? Lots of people find pasta rather bloat-making (we’re not going to talk about what happens after that but you know where we’re coming from). Plus there are soooooo many other exciting foods to eat, why would you limit yourself?
This Asparagus, Lemon and Chervil Risotto make a tasty change. Among other things, asparagus contains a good supply of some B-complex vitamins, plus anti-oxidant vitamins A, C and E (ACE, eh?!) Chervil smells and tastes a little like aniseed so up the quantity if you have a particular penchant for that kind of thing. It’s also supposed to be good for the digestion and for hiccups (curing them, that is, not giving you them).
Asparagus, Lemon and Chervil Risotto
250g risotto rice
12-14 asparagus spears, finely sliced
1 onion, diced
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, sliced finely
700ml vegetable stock
100ml dry white wine (optional – use 800ml of stock if you omit the wine)
Zest of 1 lemon
2 handfuls of fresh chervil, roughly chopped
40g Parmesan-style hard cheese
Wedge of lemon
1 In a large pan, gently heat the oil. Add the garlic and onion and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2 Add the rice and stir briskly, coating it with the oil. Then add the wine if you’re using it and stir rapidly.
3 Add the asparagus and stir.
3 Add the hot stock little by little (a cupful or ladle at a time), stirring well until the liquid is absorbed before adding more. Continue adding the stock slowly until it has all been absorbed, stirring frequently.
4 When the rice is cooked but still al dente, remove from the heat and stir in the chervil and lemon zest.
Serve with fresh black pepper and a wedge of lemon, along with a crisp salad or steamed vegetables.