Last of the asparagus in June’s kitchen

Our asparagus is just about coming to its natural end. Martin usually says June 21st the longest day, to stop picking but we started early because of the warm weather so it’s time to give it a good rest. We’ve had a fantastic crop – in fact in the middle of May we had some for tea just about every day.

So my last dish is a risotto with a wonderful, Wensleydale blue creamy sauce. I must admit it’s not my recipe but one I’ve found and tweaked a bit. It’s on the the website and it’s delicious. Of course you could enjoy the risotto on its own but this sauce is delicious with a real tang – a brilliant end to the asparagus season.

Serves 2 takes about half an hour

250g cooked ham hock, shredded

1 small onion, sliced

1 crushed garlic clove

100ml white wine

25g butter

175g risotto rice

About 400ml chicken, ham or veg stock – keep warm

25g parmesan, grated

4 stems asparagus, sliced fairly thinly

35g peas

½ tbspn chopped tarragon

For the sauce:

125ml single cream

40ml white wine

100g crumbled blue Wensleydale

I would make the sauce first as this can stand whilst you make the risotto;

  • Pour the wine and the cream into a small pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Stirring now and again leave to reduce and thicken for about 10 minutes. Add in the crumbled Wensleydale and stir until it melts. Keep warm until ready to serve
  • Asparagus risotto - Make sauce

For the risotto:

  • Melt half the butter in a shallow pan then gently fry the onion and garlic until softened but not coloured
  • Add the rice and coat in the butter then pour in the wine and cook until the wine has evaporated
  • Add a good splosh of the stock and stir in until absorbed. Repeat and repeat fairly slowly until the rice is softened but still has a little bite to it
  • Asparagus risotto - slowly add staock
  • Stir through the ham and the asparagus and peas (you can blanch the veg first if you want to)
  • Asparagus risotto - add ham and asparagus
  • Stir in the rest of the butter then the parmesan and the tarragon.
  • asparagus risotto

Serve the risotto with the sauce drizzled over the top

I reckon the sauce would go really well with a good piece of steak too!