Fancy something a little different for dinner tonight?

Ingredients

Serves 4

  •  1 onion, finely diced
  •  1 garlic clove, crushed
  •  1 sweet potato, peeled and diced
  •  2 carrots, peeled and diced
  •  3 tbsp olive oil or rapeseed oil
  •  2 fresh thyme sprigs
  •  sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  •  850ml vegetable stock
  •  200g (7oz) risotto rice, such as Arborio or Carnaroli
  •  100ml (3 1/2fl oz) dry white wine
  •  6 asparagus, root removed and chopped
  •  25g (1oz) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  •  2 tbsp mascarpone cheese
  •  Zest of 1 lemon
  •  1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
  •  1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley 
  •  Grilled spring onion, asparagus and carrots, to serve
  •  Sherry vinegar caramel, to serve

Sherry Vinegar Caramel 
Makes: About 100ml

  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar
  • 2 fresh rosemary sprigs

Method

  1. Pour the vegetable stock into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep warm.
  2. Heat a non-stick sauté pan over a medium heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons of the oil. Tip in the onion, garlic, diced carrots and sweet potato and sauté for about 5 minutes, until well softened and lightly coloured. Stir in the risotto rice and cook for another 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with the white wine and allow to bubble down and reduce, stirring constantly. Add in the chopped asparagus
  3. Add a ladleful of the warm vegetable stock and cook gently until all the liquid has almost been absorbed, stirring regularly with a wooden spoon. Continue adding stock in this way until the rice is al dente – this should take about 18-20 minutes depending on the type of rice you use. The risotto should be quite thick rather than soupy and each grain of rice should be holding its shape.
  4. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone, grated lemon zest and herbs. Season to taste.

Sherry Vinegar Caramel 

  1. Place the sugar and 100ml of water in a heavy-based pan. Bring to the boil and cook for about 15 minutes without stirring, until golden brown,
  2. Quickly stir the sherry vinegar into the golden caramel, then add another 100ml of cold water and the rosemary, stirring well to combine.
  3. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until you have achieved a honey-like consistency. Set aside to cool.
  4. Transfer to a squeezy bottle and store in the fridge. Use as required.