Prawn and Asparagus Risotto
Prawn and Asparagus Risotto
Serves 4, 35 minutes
The humble risotto, when done well, is a thing of simple beauty. When done carelessly, however, it can mean scraping rice off your favourite pan. This easy seafood recipe takes a little over half an hour but it does need your full attention. Pause Netflix and you’ll be back in a bit.
Whilst we love a rich mousse or molten lasagne, adding cream and lots of cheese to a midweek meal might be a little too decadent for your taste. This recipe brings all the smooth, velvety flavours you might expect in a risotto, but lightens things up with a squeeze of lemon and a bite of asparagus. Of course, you’ll have to find a use for that leftover wine.
We’re using prawn and asparagus and lots of lemon juice, but you can use any vegetables you have on hand - spinach and peas, for example, are a great combo. We’ve used raw prawns because they really do pack much more flavour than pre-cooked store ones. If you don’t have a local fishmonger's most big supermarkets will have a fish counter with someone there to help. However, if you’re stuck for time and can only find ready cooked prawns make sure you add them right at the end so they don’t get tough.
If you’ve been looking for an easy seafood dish that isn’t complicated, this is a great place to start and if you’re cooking for one of those people who doesn’t like ‘fishy fish,’ the delicate flavour of prawns are perfect. You can even substitute fish stock for chicken. Cooked and on the table, in a little over 30 minutes, this dish is quick enough for a midweek meal but fancy enough for a date night or dinner party. Try it out, share your pictures on our Instagram and let us know what you think!
If you have any risotto leftover you can whip up some arancini so it doesn’t go to waste.
400g of raw prawns with the shell removed
1 ½ litres of fish stock
1 onion (chopped)
300g risotto rice
1 small glass of white wine (and 1 glass for the chef)
1 clove of garlic (crushed)
150g of asparagus
Handful of chopped parsley
In a saucepan bring the fish stock to the boil and then keep it on a low simmer
Snap off the stalks of the asparagus. Don’t feel you have to throw these away, cut them into disks and pop them into the freezer and you can use the asparagus stalks in soups or stews in future. Thinly slice the asparagus up until you have around two inches of asparagus remaining. Set aside.
In a separate pan (we advise your biggest frying pan), melt half the butter over a medium heat. Stir in the onions and sweat gently for 8-10 mins until translucent. Stir the rice and the garlic into the onions until the rice is completely coated in the butter.
Pour in the wine and simmer until the rice has soaked it all up. Add the stock, a ladleful at a time, stirring with each addition until absorbed. This can take a bit of time and you really want to keep the rice moving gently. Don’t get over excited or you’ll break down the rice and end up with a messy hob.
Continue adding stock a ladleful at a time and stirring the rice over a low heat for 25-30 mins, until the rice is cooked al dente (with a little bite). Check in after using around 1 litre of the stock, it may or may not need the extra 500ml. If it does continue to add this a ladle at a time and test the rice. When the rice is al dente and looking nice and creamy add the asparagus slices (not the stalks) and half of the prawns..
In a separate small frying or griddle pan add the remaining butter, on a medium heat. Add the asparagus stalks and cook for a couple of minutes until they have a slight char. Remove. Add half of the prawns and cook on one side for one minute, and then flip for another thirty seconds. The prawns should be pink and not translucent. Set aside.
Back to the risotto, add the juice of the lemon and half the parsley and if you want to give it a kick, a little chilli and give it a final stir. Season the dish and serve topped with lemon zest and the remaining parsley, with the pan fried asparagus and prawns on top.