Fancy a challenge? Why not get involved with National Vegetarian Week from 16th-22nd May and go meat-free for seven days. It’s really not that difficult, and with the help of Linda McCartney’s delicious Asparagus and Lemon Risotto, you won’t even notice the meat isn’t there!
Linda McCartney, the original food pioneer has inspired people across generations to cook and enjoy meat free meals, and this year her food brand celebrates its’ 25th anniversary. Today, her daughter Mary McCartney furthers Linda’s passion for vegetarian meals on her blog: P for Peckish.
Asparagus and Lemon Risotto
Prep time: 40 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes
Gluten Free, Vegan Option
• 3 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 shallots, chopped
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1 stick of celery, chopped small
• 280g arborio or risotto rice
• 1 litre vegetable stock (4 1/3 cups)
• 1 bunch of asparagus, trimmed and chopped into 5cm/2inch pieces
• 6 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
• 1 sprig rosemary, finely chopped
• 1/2 lemon, zest grated and juiced
• 50g/2oz goats’ cheese or 4 tablespoons soya cream
• sea salt and black pepper to taste
• flat-leaf parsley or grated Parmesan, to garnish (optional)
1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and cook the shallots, garlic and celery over a medium heat for 4 minutes.
2. Add the rice and stir well.
3. Add 2 ladles of the warmed stock and stir until the rice has absorbed most of the liquid.
4. Keep adding the stock gradually for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly.
5. Add the asparagus, the herbs and lemon zest, and continue to cook gently, stirring for a further 10 minutes.
6. At no point should you allow the mixture to become too dry – add more stock as necessary.
7. When the rice is cooked, mix in the goat’ cheese or soya cream and lemon juice, season to taste with salt and pepper and sprinkle with the parsley or parmesan just before serving.
Linda’s Top Tip: You can add the tough ends of asparagus spears to your vegetable stock. This will give the risotto more flavour.
For more delicious treats and inspiration visit: www.lindamccartneyfoods.co.uk