Along with freshly picked broccoli, asparagus cut ten minutes before you intend to eat it is one of the revelations of the backyard patch. It is so sweet and tender that we rarely cook it – it seems a shame to – so we tend to use it in salads, or add it just before a dish is served so that it is warmed through by the residual heat but remains crisp and crunchy. Because we don’t buy fruit or veggies, but live from what we grow here on the farm, I can tell you there is real joy in kneeling down to cut the first of the new season spears, and this risotto recipe is a tribute to that feeling, and a celebration of the abundance that late spring has to offer.
This is not a traditional risotto recipe mainly because I wanted the sweet and delicate asparagus to be right at the forefront, surrounded by flavours that were tangy, tasty, fresh and light. For the same reason there is no meat stock but instead a few cupfuls of tank water with a few aromatic bits and pieces added. However cooking with the seasons is all about letting your ingredients lead the way – so feel free to improvise with whatever you have to hand.