Monday, 24 May 2010

National Vegetarian Week

This week is National Vegetarian Week, an annual awareness campaign promoting the benefits of a meat-free lifestyle and healthy, delicious vegetarian food.  Since 1992, the Vegetarian Society have celebrated National Vegetarian Week with events, cookery demonstrations and competitions and even discounts and special offers on products for vegetarians.  Their website offers lots of resources for vegetarians, those considering a vegetarian lifestyle and even non-vegetarians like me who are concerned about how what we eat impacts not just our own health, but the health of our planet.  

Although I do eat meat, like many others, my family and I are trying to eat less of it and actively support initiatives like Meatless Monday.  Whether you are vegetarian or not, the National Vegetarian Week and the Vegetarian Society websites are great resources for delicious, healthy recipes.  I urge you to celebrate National Vegetarian Week with even just one meat free meal.  With all the lovely vegetables that are available this time of year, it is a great time to do it.  Why not try my Risotto Primavera, featuring lovely in-season asparagus?

The 21st Century Housewife's Risotto Primavera
Serves 4

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
320 grams of risotto rice (Arborio, Carnaroli or Vialone)
1 glass dry white wine
1 litre of vegetable stock (I made mine from cubes)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 cup of frozen peas
a couple of good handfuls of asparagus spears, washed, each one cut in two or three pieces
1 handful of grated vegetarian cheddar cheese

Take the peas out of the freezer, measure out one cupful and leave them on the side to thaw out a bit.  Heat the oil over medium heat in a saute pan or fairly deep frying pan (in a pinch you can use a large saucepan for this as well).  Gently saute the onion until it is beginning to soften, but not brown.  Stir in the risotto rice until it is well mixed with the onion and coated with oil. 

Pour in the glass of wine and stir gently until it is absorbed.  Now you can begin adding the stock, a few ladles full at a time, stirring each one in until it is absorbed.   This will take at least fifteen to twenty minutes. Don’t be tempted to crank up the heat too much, you have to be patient with this dish.  When cooking risotto the burner should never be turned up beyond medium heat. 

Meanwhile, steam the asparagus over boiling water (or cook in the microwave) for two to three minutes until just tender.  Drain, set aside and keep warm.

As soon as the last ladleful of stock has been absorbed, turn the heat back a bit and stir in the cheese and the frozen peas until the cheese has melted.  After a couple of minutes gently stir in the steamed asparagus. 

Serve on warmed plates or in warmed bowls.  


  1. Wow I have searched high and low for a risotto recipe and we love asparagus so this is perfect!!

    Can't wait to make it!

    Thanks for sharing!

    I am now following you!
    PS: Thanks for stopping by my blog!!

  2. So glad you like it and thank you for following :)


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