Fancy something a little different for dinner tonight?
- 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
- Pour the vegetable stock into a pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Keep warm.
- 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
- 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.
- Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the Parmesan, mascarpone, grated lemon zest and herbs. Season to taste.
Sherry Vinegar Caramel
- 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,
- Quickly stir the sherry vinegar into the golden caramel, then add another 100ml of cold water and the rosemary, stirring well to combine.
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes, until you have achieved a honey-like consistency. Set aside to cool.
- Transfer to a squeezy bottle and store in the fridge. Use as required.