Asparagus,Mint & Lemon Risotto

This post has been a long overdue and for some reason I almost forgot about it…..The Risotto is inspired by Jamie Oliver and it’s my first time to try out any of his recipes and I’m glad I did.
To get fresh asparagus in India is a rare thing and I happen to pick them at the Farmer’s Market; fresh, green and also organic.The method for cooking  risotto is almost the same as my previous post Yellow & Red Pepper Risotto apart from the flavouring ofcourse…

1 cup arborio rice
1 cup fresh or canned asparagus, cut into desired length
1cup finely chopped onion
2 garlic clove, minced
1 tbs butter
1tbs olive oil
5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
1/4 cup white wine (optional)
salt & pepper to taste
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (can add more if you like)
2tbs  fresh mint leaves
1tbs lemon zest

In the cleaned skillet cook onions in 1tbs remaining butter over moderate heat, stirring until turned light brown, add garlic and onions, cook until soft. If using fresh asparagus, pre boil or if using canned; add them into the skillet and season with salt and pepper.Keep aside
In a saucepan heat broth and keep at a bare simmer or microwave.

Take a non-stick pan (chances of burning the rice is lesser),add olive oil and keep stirring dry rice for several minutes in the oil over medium-high heat until it is golden, but not burnt. This also helps the rice to release the starch later on, and creates a nice nutty flavour.
Add wine and cook, stirring constantly, until wine is absorbed.If you are not using wine; you can start adding broth.Add about 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook, stirring constantly, until broth is absorbed.
Continue adding broth, about 1/2 cup at a time, and cooking, stirring constantly and letting each addition be absorbed before adding the next, until rice is ‘al dente’, about 20 minutes.
Remove pan from heat and stir in the prepared mixture of onion and asparagus , parmesan cheese, mint, lemon zest,salt and pepper to taste.Serves 2.

My tastebuds: the mint and lemon gives risotto a different and a tangy flavour. I didn’t like the lemon too much and felt that the flavouring was not complete.

This is my submission to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging, hosted by Cindystar.

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Mixed Salad with Peanut Dressing

I’m not a big fan of peanut butter and this is not the famous Indonesian salad, Gado Gado. My visit to the Farmers Market on Sunday, motivated me to prepare a pest-free salad. I do give some credit to the lady selling salad at a food counter in the Farmers Market for cropping the peanut dressing idea……
I’ve used peanuts before in a dry powdered form; but never have I used it as a paste. Though I have tasted peanut chutney  and raita made of chutney, which is mostly coconut and mint based, common in South India; but never have I thought of using it in a salad.
There are no restrictions on what kind of veggies you would like to use…go ahead and use anything that you like or prefer.

2 cups of finely chopped Purple cabbage
1 cup of finely chopped red pepper
1 cup boiled of sweet potato, cut into pieces(optional)
1 cup boiled sweet corn
4-5 stems boiled asparagus, chopped into big pieces
1/2 fresh mint leaves

for the dressing
4tbs roasted peanuts (with or without skin)
1tbs soy sauce
1tbs tahini
1tbs honey
1tbs sesame oil
1tsp chilli flakes
1tbs red wine vinegar
salt to taste

Blend all the ingredients for the dressing in a blender into a fine paste. Take all the veggies in a bowl and mix with the prepared dressing. Keep some dressing aside to use while serving. Serve cold or at room temperature, topped with the remaining dressing. Serves 2.

My tastebuds: I liked the crunchiness and the nice saucy mixture to the salad. Although, a rare combination which was never tried or tasted by me.

This is my submission to this week’s Souper Sundays hosted by Kahakai Kitchen and to Heart n Soul, hosted by Girlichef.