Updated: May 27
Giant green stalks. Affectionately known among friends here as ‘sparkles’, a play on the German word for asparagus, ‘spargel’.
Russian salad is a bit like the term borsht. There are as many recipes for how to make either of these as there are people making them. One could just as easily say salad or soup – and all the dozens of ideas that come to mind are right.
Risotto is similar. There are all sorts of theories about how to stir, what to add when, the broth to use, etc. When I first came to Lugano in 2007, I did not really know how to make risotto. This dish, with whatever ingredients beyond rice, was Claudio’s domain. As life goes, things evolve, and now risotto is in my specialty basket.
April and May being asparagus season I am pretty much eating this green stalk, favorite of my late father, on a daily basis. Usually Milanese style as depicted in my first post about this stalk in April 2019, Asparagus, nature announces spring.
Recently I have been eating asparagus sautéed in a pan with black rice, a cracked egg, and cheese all melted together for brunch. A recent rainy day had me in the mood to make risotto and asparagus was the natural choice to star in this northern Italian comfort food.
Asparagus itself is a gift of nature. Like the artichoke which I have also waxed on about in May 2018, with Artichokes: Anti-inflammatory Thistles from Heaven.
Lucky me, I can happily easily eat asparagus every day while it is in season. Nature is infinitely wise, and when our bodies need a spring cleaning, she provides us with plenty of bounty to do so naturally. Asparagus is a high in anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients, a liver cleanser, and is full of healthy vitamins and minerals: fiber, vitamins A, C, E and K and folate. Equally asparagus is a great source of copper, an essential trace mineral that aids in collagen formation, energy production and iron absorption.
In ancient times, asparagus was renowned as an aphrodisiac, and maybe for good reason. This succulent, savory vegetable contains a stimulating blend of nutrients that help boost energy, cleanse the urinary tract and neutralize excess ammonia, which can cause fatigue and sexual disinterest.
All this for me is only an extra bonus, excuses to enjoy one of my favorite vegetables (in season).
Left our asparagus risotto ready to eat; Right Bunny super happy for the asparagus and being on the balcony with the herb garden.
Enjoy the green giants as you wish and click here for the recipe of my version.
Frankly, as a non-native Italian living in the direct area of Milan (Lombardy) the birthplace of risotto, one may consider me rather presumptuous to offer a risotto recipe. Still, I offer humbly my own asparagus risotto recipe.