Croatia shares some similarities with Italian cuisine, and risotto is common around the coast. This version stars asparagus and sharp cheddar.
- 100 g unsalted butter, chopped
- 1 onion, thinly sliced
- 3 bunches asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1 cm pieces
- 750 ml (3 cups) hot good-quality vegetable stock
- 60 ml (¼ cup) extra virgin olive oil
- 200 g (1 cup) carnaroli (see note) or arborio rice
- 60 ml (¼ cup) dry white wine
- 50 g (⅔ cup) grated parmesan
- 100 g Maffra cheese (see note), thinly sliced
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Drink 2010 Collestefano Verdicchio di Matelica, Marche, Italy
Melt 50 g butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add half the onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add two-thirds of the asparagus and 125 ml stock, and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and cook for 2 minutes or until asparagus is tender. Process in a food processor until smooth.
Heat oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining onion and cook for 3 minutes or until softened. Add rice and cook for a further 2 minutes or until it starts to stick to the base of the pan. Add wine and cook for 2 minutes or until almost evaporated. Add remaining 625 ml stock, cover, reduce heat to low and cook for 12 minutes or until stock is almost absorbed and rice is al dente.
Uncover, increase heat to high, add asparagus purée and remaining asparagus, and stir for 2 minutes or until sliced asparagus is tender. Remove from heat. Stir in remaining 50 g butter and parmesan. Serve with Maffra.
• Carnaroli, from specialist food shops, is a short-grain risotto rice.
• Maffra, from selected delis and specialist food shops, is a sharp cheddar from Victoria.
As seen in Feast Magazine, Issue 13, pg95.
Photography by Derek Swalwell