• This pea, asparagus and mature Cheddar barley risotto is the perfect addition to your Valentine’s dinner for two. 

    Pea, asparagus and mature Cheddar barley risotto

    Serves: 2
    Cooking Time: 45 mins



    In a large pot, heat 15ml (1 tbsp) butter and 15ml (1 tbsp) olive oil over low heat and add 1 peeled and diced onion. Fry until the onion is soft and translucent. Add 200g finely chopped streaky bacon and increase the heat to medium. Fry until crispy, about 5 minutes. Add 1 peeled and minced garlic clove and cook, 1 minute, then add 125ml (½ cup) dry white wine and boil to reduce, 10 minutes. Add 200g barley and 1,2L hot chicken stock. Simmer, about 20 minutes, stirring every 2 minutes, until the barley is tender. Add 100g asparagus (halved) and 100g frozen peas. Cook, a further 3 minutes, then stir in 100ml fresh cream and 70g grated mature Cheddar. Once the cheese has melted, remove from heat and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Serve garnished with extra blanched asparagus, if desired, and microherbs.

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    Imka Webb

    Imka Webb is a freelance digital marketing expert and the digital editor of Food & Home Entertaining magazine.  www.imkawebb.com