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    Asparagus & barley risotto

    Plenty of other grains work well in risotto. Wholegrain spelt gives a nice, nutty texture, as does farro, a grain that's widely used in Italian dishes.

    • Vegetarian
    • Preparation time: 5 minutes
    • Cooking time: 35 minutes
    • Total time: 40 minutes

    Serves: 2


    300g asparagus
    1 tsp vegan vegetable bouillon
    1 tbsp olive oil
    4 shallots, thinly sliced
    2 cloves garlic, crushed
    150g pearl barley
    3 large sprigs tarragon, leaves only
    Freshly ground nutmeg (about ¼ tsp)
    50g Violife Original Flavour Block, finely grated


    1. Trim the asparagus and cut in half. Cook in boiling water for 2 minutes, drain in a colander over a large measuring jug to keep 500ml of the cooking water. Whisk the bouillon into the jug.

    2. Heat the oil in a saucepan and fry the shallots for 3 minutes. Tip in the garlic and pearl barley and cook for 2 minutes, stirring. Add the stock and cook over a medium heat for 20 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tarragon and cook for a further 5-10 minutes until the risotto is thickened and the grains are tender.

    3. Stir in the asparagus and nutmeg and cook for another couple of minutes, adding a splash of water if the consistency is dry. Serve in shallow bowls, scattered with grated Violife.

    Cook’s tip
    You can make this recipe using a regular risotto rice. The cooking time will be similar, but add a ladleful of stock at a time as the rice cooks to give a creamy result.

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