Known for its short eight-week season, British asparagus is this month's star ingredient and a must-cook for everyone!
Whether you choose to grill it, boil it, steam it, roast it, or even barbecue it (if the weather holds out!), these succulent spears are packed full of goodness and will make a great accompaniment to a huge variety of dishes!
But if you need a little inspiration to get you going, try this recipe from Clarence Court: British asparagus risotto with a crispy fried soft-boiled egg!
British Asparagus Risotto with Crispy Fried Soft Boiled Egg
- 5 Clarence Court Burford Brown eggs (or 6 Clarence Court quail eggs and 1 hens egg)
- 2 tbsp plain flour
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 50g panko bread crumbs
- Vegetable oil for deep fat frying
- 100g unsalted butter
- 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stick celery, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 16 spears of British asparagus, woody ends removed, stems sliced and tips kept whole
- 220g arborio risotto rice
- 150ml dry white wine
- 550ml hot vegetable stock
- 100g parmesan cheese, finely grated
- Zest of 1 lemon finely grated
1. Place a pan of water on to boil and gently boil 4 of the hens eggs or the 6 quails eggs to your liking (around 6 minutes for a hens egg or 1 minute 30 seconds for a quails egg.) Once cooked, plunge the eggs into a bowl of iced water. Carefully peel the eggs and place them back into the bowl filled with fresh cold water.
2. Place the plain flour on one plate and season well with salt and pepper. Whisk the remaining hen egg into a bowl and place the panko crumbs on to another plate. Pat the eggs dry, then one at a time roll the egg in flour, dip in beaten egg and then roll in the panko crumbs. Place the eggs on to another plate and repeat with the remaining eggs until they’re all crumbed. Now place the plate of eggs in the fridge while you make the risotto.
3. Put a 26cm heavy based frying pan on a medium to low heat and add 40g butter to melt and bubble a little. Then add the chopped onion, celery and garlic with a pinch of salt. Stir with a wooden spoon continuously until the vegetables are softened but not coloured (around 10 minutes). Add the sliced asparagus stems and stir for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the rice and keep stirring for 2 minutes until the rice grains are coated and starting to turn translucent.
4. Add all the wine to the pan and turn up the heat and stir until it is reduced by two thirds. Then ladle by ladle stir in the hot vegetable stock until it is absorbed before adding the next. This will take around 10 - 15 minutes until the rice is cooked but with some bite.
5. Meanwhile place the vegetable oil on to heat up, have a plate lined with kitchen roll and a slotted spoon ready. When the risotto is nearly cooked add 40g butter and half of the parmesan and most of the asparagus tips. Season to taste and turn off the heat and place a lid on the pan.
6. When the oil is hot enough, carefully lower the eggs into the hot oil one at a time until the breadcrumbs are lightly golden, this takes around 2 minutes. Carefully remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and place on the plate lined with kitchen roll.
7. Place a small frying pan on low heat and add the remaining 20g butter. Once melted add the asparagus tips and gently fry for 2 to 3 minutes until soft but still crunchy.
8. To assemble the dish, spoon the risotto into serving dishes, half the deep fried eggs distribute over the risottos, top with the lightly buttered asparagus tips. Sprinkle over the remaining parmesan and a grating of lemon zest.