Recipe extract: Source New Zealand, available from all good bookshops nationwide and online here.

Serves 4-6

250g asparagus
5 cups vegetable stock
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced or crushed
2 cups risotto rice
1 cup kalamata olives
200g feta
1 knob butter
zest from 1 lemon (spray free)

Remove the top ¼ of the asparagus and cut into half, lengthwise. Slice, on a slant, the remaining spear into pieces, toss away the woody, end piece. Bring the stock to the boil and quickly blanch the asparagus, remove and chill in iced water.

In a saucepan sauté in olive oil over a low heat the onion and garlic, until the onion is transparent. Add the rice and sauté a further 2 minutes. Add half the hot stock to the rice, stir and place lid on saucepan. Simmer slowly for 15-18 minutes, stirring occasionally and slowly adding more stock as required.

When the rice is cooked, but still firm—add the asparagus and olives crumble in ½ feta and a knob of butter and warm through. Adjust seasoning if necessary and add more liquid if needed, the risotto should have a creamy consistency.

Serve topped with remaining crumbled feta and fine lemon zest.

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