Asparagus and Quinoa Risotto
Oh dear I dread to think what Italians would think of this asparagus quinoa risotto, using quinoa instead of that gorgeous creamy risotto rice, treachery at least! But let’s not think about what others think and just go right ahead and make our risotto with quinoa if we want to, and I do today.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a grain and a super healthy one too. There was a huge foodie fad about it a few years ago and I got right into it as I was on a real health kick at the time. Unlike a lot of ‘healthy’ foods I embraced at the time this one has stuck, I love the taste of quinoa and have used it in lots of ways, even in porridge!
Gotta love risotto
I love the whole comfort foodiness of risotto, the creamy texture, the flavours, the fact that you can put anything in there and make it your very own signature dish, it fits the time, it fits the moment. While this asparagus quinoa risotto doesn’t have that rich creaminess you get from proper risotto rice it does give you the concept of risotto and when you are trying to be a bit healthy every little nod towards your favourite comfort foods helps.
Actually there is something about food in a bowl that is so comforting, soups, many Asian dishes, stews. It’s like being thrown back to your childhood, safety, comfort, warmth.
Flavours of the season
I’m using asparagus, peas and mint in this asparagus quinoa risotto. What could be more spring-into-summer, all that gorgeous greenery and fresh zingy taste. While I may well call any sort of risotto comfort food this also sings of freshness and summer and with the quinoa being lighter than normal risotto it is really summer comfort food. Come on sometimes you need a foodie hug even in summer!
Let’s hope the sun is shining wherever you are and you can sit outside with your asparagus quinoa risotto and enjoy some lovely weather as well as delicious food.
ASPARAGUS QUINOA RISOTTO
- 1/2 cup quinoa rinsed thoroughly
- 1 cup of vegetable stock
- 6 asparagus spears with ends trimmed off and chopped
- 1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- 1 tbsp grated parmesan
- salt and pepper to taste
- Bring the quinoa in stock to a boil, lower heat and simmer gently for 15 minutes
- Add the asparagus and cook for a further 5 minutes
- Drain any excess water, add mint and parmesan and seasoning and cook for a further 2 minutes
- Serve with a knob of butter on top if you want to make it creamy