we've had a glut of wild garlic in the house over the past few weeks and to use it up we've been making mayonnaise, turning it into pesto, wilting it through pastas and tarts and even experimenting with wild garlic cheese toasties (a genius idea, by the way). here though, i paired it with asparagus to make a risotto that perfectly showcases the flavours of early spring.
though the smell is invasive and pungent, i love the subtle taste that wild garlic has; which is perfect for this risotto - it adds such a great depth of flavour but doesn't overpower the lovely, seasonal asparagus, it's a lovely springtime dish that you can easily serve on it's own, or to accompany some grilled chicken or salmon.
wild garlic risotto
1 knob butter
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
250g risotto rice
white wine or vermouth
1 litre hot chicken stock
1 large handful wild garlic leaves, washed and roughly chopped
100g asparagus, chopped into inch long pieces
70g Parmesan, finely grated, plus extra for serving
Heat a large cooking pot, add the knob of butter and a good glug of olive oil. Gently sweat the garlic and onion for about 10 minutes until soft and translucent - try not to let it colour. Add the rice and turn up the heat, stirring, until the rice is coated with the garlicky onion mix. Season with salt and pepper and add the wine, stirring until it has been absorbed.
Add enough stock just to cover the rice, stir and turn down the heat. Maintain the rice at a gentle simmer and stir constantly until the stock has been absorbed. Repeat, adding stock and stirring, for 10 minutes. Add the wild garlic leaves and aspargus, stir into the rice and continue adding more stock as before.
After five minutes more, when the rice is just cooked but still has some bite, remove from the heat and stir in the butter and cheese. Season again and serve with loads more parmesan on top!